Adverse weather, wind conditions dash hopes of Malaysian sailors
by FARHANAH AZMI. Posted on September 7, 2012, Friday
LONDON: Adverse weather conditions and unfavourable wind conditions contributed to the poor performance of Malaysian sailors when sailing events started at the Portland Harbour in Weymouth near here today.
The Skud 18 (two-person keelboat) sailing event which saw sailors from the Tp A to Tp B category, featured Malaysian sailors Nurul Amilin Balawi and Al Mustakim Matrin.
The duo finished ninth in a field of 11 sailors.
“Though they finished in ninth spot, I am happy with their performance. They have been sailing as a team for one year but to improve, they need more time to understand each other,” sailing coach Zanal Masir told Bernama.
Zanal said the Skud 18 was a new addition to sailing events in the Paralympics and comprised very technical aspects to master.
“Competition in Weymouth was very stiff while the weather and wind did not favour us. It was very cold out there,” said Zanal.
The event was won by Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch from Australia while Jen French and Jp Creignou from the United States took the silver ahead of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell from the host nation.
Wheelchair fencer Abdul Rahman Razali who competed in the men’s Sabre also suffered a similar fate when his wheelchair broke during his second group match.
“I am disappointed because I could not focus when my wheelchair broke and I could not use my second wheelchair because it did not meet the specification required.
“I had to borrow a wheelchair from another fencer from Poland. During my first match against Gerasimos Pylarinos from Greece, my wheelchair started shaking and broke during my second match against Sergey Frolov from Russia,” he said.
Abdul Rahman lost the first two matches with identical 0-5 scores, lost the third against Radoslaw Stanczul (3-5) and Moez Elassine of France (1-5) in his final group match. “I was not comfortable when using a wheelchair that belonged to another person,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian elite athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, 22 from Gombak, Selangor is itching to see action tomorrow.
Ziyad who competes in the men’s F20 Shot put said since most of the others had already seen action in their respective events, he too was itching to see action in his event.
Having qualified on merit for the London Paralympics after winning a silver medal at the FID IWAS Championships in Italy last year with a distance of 13.67m, Ziyad hopes to win a gold medal un the event.
“I am 97 percent ready for the competition compared to the 80 percent when I was in Malaysia. Thousands of supporters come to the stadium to cheer people like us and I am also eager to be applauded in a similar way,” he said. –Bernama