New season begins with Asian U-14 in Kuching


KUCHING: Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) will start the new year on a high note by hosting the 2nd ITF 14 and Under Asian Championships (Grade 2) here.

BRIGHT START TO 2010: Liew (centre) receives the Lea Sports Centre sponsorship from Olga (left) and Ting.

BRIGHT START TO 2010: Liew (centre) receives the Lea Sports Centre sponsorship from Olga (left) and Ting.

SLTA president Patrick Liew said four players from Kuching would get the chance to play in the championships from Jan 9-19.

“The boys are Augustine Chang and Kenneth Tan while the girls are Emily Foo and Choo Lyn Yuen. They are part of the Malaysian team of five boys and five girls,” he told a press conference yesterday.

The other players are Colin Wong, Tony Chin and Ahmad Faeez Shamsudin (boys) and Arcnaah Rajan, Alyssa Chia and Ti Jia Wei (girls).

Liew said as host, Malaysia was entitled to more wild card entries whereas the other countries could only field six players – three boys and three girls.

“We have a total of 60 players – 35 boys and 25 girls – from 11 countries in both the singles and doubles.

“The players will be accompanied by 11 officials,” he added.

The countries taking part are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the ITF Team which is made up of six players from Jordan, Oman and Yemen.

Most of the players will arrive on Jan 9 and leave on Jan 20.

The championships, sanctioned by Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, will incorporate a one-day training camp on Jan 10.

The first leg of the tournament is from Jan 10-14 and the second from Jan 16-19.

Liew, also the organising chairman, expects the Malaysians to finish among the top 10.

“Our players are very competitive and I’m confident they can do well,” he said.

Liew said SLTA was thankful to International Tennis Federation (ITF) for the host job again this year.

“ITF was impressed with the organisation and press coverage of the championships last year.

“They will give us a grant of US$15,000 to run the event and another US$1,500 for refereeing fees.”

He also thanked Lea Sports Centre Sdn Bhd for sponsoring the jerseys for officials, Wilson for sponsoring the tournament balls and Pustaka for providing the transportation. The official hotel this year is Samudra Hotel.

Liew yesterday received a sponsorship from Lea Sports Centre Sdn Bhd’s operation manager Olga Reggie and event coordinator Ting Sing Ren.