30 May 2008

No bias judging, say hosts Terengganu

Terengganu have given an assurance that there will be no bias judging in their favour in the silat competitions at the Terengganu Sports Arch in Gong Badak from June 2-8.

Silat team manager Alias Abas said that their 29 exponents had worked hard for the Games and would earn success on merit.

“I admit that we have an edge in competing at our usual training venue. And the home support will lift the spirits of our exponents to perform better. But that is all there is to our advantage as the hosts,” he said.

“If we win gold medals, it would all be due to our exponents' skills and hard work. I can assure the other teams that there will be a level playing field in the silat competitions.”

Pahang, who supply a steady stream of talented young exponents to the national squad, are the dominant force in Sukma.

“Pahang have ruled the roost in Sukma silat but I feel that the other states, including Terengganu, have caught up. No single state will dominate this time,” said Alias.

Terengganu have set a modest target to win four gold medals but their chief coach, Shahrul Fahmi, believes that his exponents are capable of winning more than that from the 23 at stake.

“We disbanded the team immediately after the disappointment of winning only one gold medal at the last Sukma in Kedah. We brought in new talent and I believe that our two-year preparation will bear fruit next week,” he said.

“The advantage with the present squad is that they are all Sukma debutants and will not be psychologically affected by past failures. They are also all fired up to impress in front of the home crowd.”

Terengganu will compete in all the 23 events – eight seni (performannce) and 15 olahraga (combat). They are pinning their hopes on the seni exponents, among them Masnidah Zakaria, Kamillah Sulong, Noryana Mohammad and Mohd Fadli Ismail.

Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2008/5/30/sports/21401269&sec=sports

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