Rising 16-year-old star set for Florida training stint

Aiman poses with LTAM president Mirzan Mahathir (centre) and Muhammad Syabil after the prize presentation at the Likas Sports Complex in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) will send up and coming star Mohd Aiman Hamden for a training stint of two and a half months in Florida, United States in a move to bring his game to another level.

SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew said yesterday that Aiman had performed well in the 18th Sukma in Sarawak last year and shown good potential to go far in the sport.

The 16-year old who hails from Taman Sukma, Kuching was formerly in the state junior development programme before joining the national back-up squad two years ago. Currently studying at the Bukit Jalil Sports School, he is national U16 singles number one player and national U18 number 10.

Aiman also excelled at the LTAM Junior Tour Leg 7 Sabah at Likas Sports Complex in Kota Kinabalu last week where he won two titles.

He beat Muhammad Syabil 6-2, (retired due to injury) in the Boys U16 singles final and partnered Muhammad Farid Wajdy to beat Muhammad Syabil-Jimmy Leong 4-6, 6-4 (10-5) in the Boys U16 doubles.

“He is physically tough and focused on the court and we are grooming him further to follow the footsteps of our first professionally trained player Mohd Assri Merzuki,” said Liew.

Aiman will be playing in the U18 next year when the competition is tough with players like Christian Didier Chin and other top juniors.

“Even though tennis will not be competed in the 19th Sukma in Perak next year, SLTA are looking beyond that and preparing him for the ITF tournaments and eventually help him to secure a sports scholarship for his further studies overseas,” Liew added.

Aiman will be training under Romanian coach Doru Sorin Murariu at the Tennis Players Fitness Institute in Florida from Sept 29 to Dec 16.

State players who have also trained under Doru included Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam, Aslina Chua An Ping, Alvin Teng, Rohaizat Achop Burhan Janang and Low Zhe Han.

“I feel very excited about the trip and I aim to improve myself both physically and mentally.

“I am also targeting to win at least a gold medal in Sukma 2020 since in last Sukma 2016 in Sarawak I only won a bronze medal,” Aiman told The Borneo Post in a telephone interview from Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

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