25 September 2011

Pencak Silat Orang Asli Student A Rising Star In National Silat Arena

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) -- The Deputy Prime Minister's International Pencak Silat Championship Cup which ended on Tuesday, succeeded in proving that the national squad is not barren of new talent.

National back-up squad silat exponent Zaiton A. Koang from Pekan, Pahang, is one case in point.

She might be unknown to sport fans, even the silat fraternity in the country but she has claimed a stake in Malaysian sports and has drawn the attention of the selector after being anointed Best Woman Pesilat for her agility, prowess in the ring.

Prior to that, the Orang Asli-Chinese silat athlete (father Chinese) grabbed the gold medal in the Kelas Puteri A after trouncing Atiq Isnarti Roslan of Singapore, 5-0 in the second edition of the championship which was held at the Berjaya Time Square from Sept 15 to 20.

The national back up squad exponents, most of whom were students of local higher learning institutions (IPTAs), were in a class of their own when they hauled in 12 gold, six silver and three bronze medals to wrest the overall championship from Singapore.

Singapore, the defending champion in the first edition held in Johor last year, picked up eight gold, 10 silver and two bronze medals to finish in second place.

The championships saw participation from 24 IPTAs and several Asean countries such as Indonesia and Thailand.

The 23-year-old student, when met by Bernama recently, said her interest in the combat sport surfaced when she was studying at Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim, Perak several years ago.

"Initially, I only followed friends at the university to learn silat. Subsequently, I was attracted to the uniqueness and advantages of silat," said the student of Special Education who hoped to be absorbed into the national elite squad.

National chief instructor Ahmad Faizal Abu Bakar, when met, also praised her performance during the five-day competition.

Zaiton who is also the Malaysian Universities Sport Council (Masum) silat champion said she would however, leave it to her coach to decide her next move.

"Apart from demonstrating her prowess in the ring, she was also the only non-Malay silat exponent in the national team and we are very proud to have an exponent like her," said the 43-year-old coach.

The coach who had trained the national squad since the past several years, said, although there were several prominent back up silat exponents, the potential in Zaiton was truly evident.

He also did not rule out the possibility of naming Zaiton in the national elite squad if she continued to exhibit encouraging performances at international championships.

Sourced from http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newssport.php?id=615675

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