LATIHAN skuad polo air wanita di Pusat Akuatik Nasional Bukit Jalil. -Foto OSMAN ADNAN
LATIHAN skuad polo air wanita di Pusat Akuatik Nasional Bukit Jalil. -Foto OSMAN ADNAN
Ajitpal Singh

THES sport is not among the top picks as youngsters prefer to venture into swimming, synchro swimming and diving.

This is the reason Malaysia are far behind the rest in water polo in Southeast Asia.

Even before the start of the Sea Games water polo competition, men’s coach Voon Yong Hui and women’s trainer Goh Kah Yi have already raised the white flag, stating that it will be tough to win medals.

Malaysia’s last medal in water polo was achieved by the women’s team when they took bronze in the 2011 Indonesia edition.

The last time the men’s finished on the podium was the 2005 Manila edition, where they finished third.

For the record, Malaysia have never won a gold medal in both the men’s and women’s categories since water polo was introduced in the 1965 edition in KL.

Malaysia have won a total of 10 silver and four bronze in the biennial games.

In the 2015 Singapore edition, the men’s and women’s teams finished fourth in their respective events.

Singapore are the undisputed champions in the men’s event with straight victories since 1965.

The men’s team will open their campaign against Indonesia at National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil today, followed by the Philippines (on Wednesday), Thailand (Friday) and Singapore (Sunday).

Yong Hui said Singapore are too strong but he is optimistic that his boys can match other teams for a podium finish.

“It is a round robin competition and we will try to end our medal drought. We only played one competition that is the Malaysia Open, where we beat Taiwan and Singapore’s Under-17 team to emerge champions in April.

“We also had a stint in China, where we played with clubs,” said the former international, who was part of the national men’s team that won a silver and a bronze in the 1983 (Singapore) and 1987 (Jakarta) editions.

The 54-year-old said his team comprise players from Negri Sembilan, Melaka, KL and Selangor.

“There are not many quality players in the country. There are only seven states active in water polo, so it is tough to develop the sport,” Yong Hui added.

The women’s team will take on defending champions Thailand, also today, followed by Singapore (Wednesday) and Indonesia (Saturday).

Kah Yi, who was appointed the women’s coach last year, said his team are the lowest ranked nation in the Sea Games.

“It will be tough against Thailand tomorrow, but we hope to achieve something against Singapore and Indonesia,” said Kah Yi, who played in the three Sea Games but returned with no medals.

Artikel ini disiarkan pada : Isnin, 14 Ogos 2017 @ 8:32 PM