Sarawak trio shine in Malaysia’s kabaddi outing

The national players celebrate their achievements with head coach Palaniandy Muniandy (fourth right) and team officials.

Sarawak players (from left) Haziq, Yeo and Alexson showing their medals after helping Malaysia to podium finishes in the Indonesia Open.

KUCHING: Malaysia had an impressive outing in the Indonesian Open Kabaddi Championship at Theater Garuda in Jakarta from Nov 26-30.

The national men’s team emerged the champions while the women’s team finished second in the tournament which is regarded as a prelude to the 18th Asian Games to be hosted by Indonesia from Aug 18 to Sept 2 next year.

Malaysia enjoyed an excellent run in the four-team men’s round robin competition, starting with 51-24 win over Indonesia in the opener and following up with 64-16 win over Kalimantan Timur and 32-25 win over Bali before defeating Indonesia 45-26 in the final.

As for the six-team women competition, Malaysia secured an opening 45-24 over Kalimantan Timur and thumped Kulungkong 45-14 but fell at the final hurdle, losing 29-34 to Indonesia.

Making an impact on the performances of the national teams were three players from Sarawak.

They are Muhamad Haziq Iskandar and Alexson Lian Sin in the men’s team and Yeo Hai Hong in the women’s team.

In fact four Sarawak players were called up for national duty but Sharifah Shafiqah Wan Hamidon was unable to answer to the call-up because she was sitting for her SPM.

“This is good achievement for Malaysia and I believe it will serve as a strong morale booster to the national teams in preparation for the Asian Games next year,” state head coach Ganisan Punisamy said yesterday.

“I am also happy that our three players gave a good account of themselves and helped Malaysia bring back two trophies.

“Alexson and Haziq were the main substitutes in the men’s team.”

He said Yeo was initially not in the women’s team first seven but replaced a key player who was injured and played right until the final.

The women’s team lost because Indonesia had fielded all the best players including from other teams and put up a formidable front.

“I hope our players will maintain their good performance and help Malaysia do well in the Asian Games,” he added.

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