10 January 2012

PESAKA banks on Sea Games squad

THE Malaysian National Silat Federation (Pesaka) is banking on its Sea Games gold medallists to deliver the goods at the inaugural Sydney Open Championships on Jan 23-30.

Pesaka coordinator Osman Nok said the federation will be sending four athletes to the tournament which is set to feature competitors from 17 nations but will, however, be without two big names in the sport-- Thailand and Indonesia.

Jakarta Sea Games gold medal winning trio Ahmad Sharil Zailudin, Mohd Al Jufferi Jamari, Mohd Fauzi Khalid and silver medallist Siti Rahmah Mohamed Nasir are the four athletes going to Australia.

"The four of them are only returning to centralised training today (yesterday) since we broke camp after the Sea Games but we do not expect that to be a problem as they are at a good level of fitness, having trained by themselves at state level," said Osman.

"We are confident of winning three gold medals at the event but do not expect things to be easy despite Indonesia and Thailand not competing.

"Vietnam will be our biggest rivals there but we expect the competition from Middle Eastern countries to be stiff as well.

"Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also can't be ruled as we have seen them compete in the past and they have shown tremendous power, stamina and fighting spirit.

"We are not sure what they will bring to the table this year but we will not be taking them lightly as they are a definitely a threat to any team."

The tournament serves as part of the national exponents preparation for the Southeast Asian championships in Vietnam this July.

Sourced from http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/silat-pesaka-banks-on-sea-games-squad-1.30215

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