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13 shocking things you didn’t know about these Malaysian athletes

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When Twitter was invented, the whole world rejoiced because it became so much easier to get in touch with your favourite celebrities.

Be it a local or international celebrity, you get to mention them in a tweet and retweet their thoughts, photos and funny videos. The celebrities loved it too, because they got to reach out to their fans without any invasion of privacy.

It also became relatively easier to learn more about them, simply by following their tweets. We know Cristiano Ronaldo plays football with his son, Michael Ballack is upset about the situation in Aleppo, and Nico Rosberg loves IWC Schaffhausen watches.

Likewise, here are a few things we observed about our very own local athletes. Enjoy!

1) Lee Chong Wei’s choice of music revolves around Yuna and Wang Lee Hom. 

The 35-year old follows local singer Yuna, and Chinese-American singer-songwriter Wang Lee Hom on Twitter, amongst other badminton players all over the world.

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2) Malaysian diver and Olympic medalist Pandelela Rinong loves her chili pan mee.

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Photo: Twitter via Pandelela

3) Pandelela is also a huge fan of South Korean boyband, Big Bang.

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4) Squash queen Nicol Ann David is your regular girl who loves Mr. Wolverine, Hugh Jackman.

5) Her choice of music include Nicki Minaj, Pink, Craig David, Kelly Rowland, and Alicia Keys.

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6) She has also challenged F1 racer Daniel Ricciardo to a squash game. Of course she won. 

7) Malaysian footballers Matt Davies (Pahang) and Darren Lok (JDT II) are literally BFF goals 

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8) If your guilty pleasures are Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, then there’s three things you have in common with national gymnast and gold medalist Farah Ann. 

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9) Her favorite football players are most probably these three guys; Syahrul Azwari (JDT), Ridzuan Abdunloh (Felda United) and Shahrul Saad (Perak FA).

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10) Footballer Safee Sali is a fan of Kim Kardashian West, David and Victoria Beckham. On that note, he’ll probably be launching his own fragrance or fashion line soon? 

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11) Malaysia’s football team captain Amri Yahyah enjoys watching Raja Lawak and his favourite comedian is most probably Zizan.

12) He is a Gooner at heart, and would choose Cristiano Ronaldo over Messi at any given time.

13) His favourite singer is none other than the legendary Datuk Siti Nurhaliza. 

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*Disclaimer: This list is based on social media observation and may or may not be true

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VIDEO: French gymnast suffers HORRIFIC leg injury

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French artistic gymnast, Samir Ait Said has a premature end to his participation at the Rio Olympics after breaking his left leg during the men’s vault qualifying rounds, yesterday.

The freak incident happened after Samir failed to have a clean landing, causing his tibia and fibula bone to snap, a sound which can be heard throughout the stadium and from live broadcast.

“He always give 200 percent in terms of effort because he’s here to win a medal for France. It is extremely hard on the team to see him being injured,” said team leader, Corrine Moustard-Callon.

The 2013 European Championship gold medallist received a huge cheer from the crowd as a show of support when he was stretchered off by the paramedics to a nearby ambulance.

The 26-year-old athlete might be in an agonising situation, but he responded with a wave to acknowledge the audiences’ goodwill.

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“Two gold, one silver” – Malaysian gymnasts make it big at Worlds

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Three Malaysian gymnasts claimed major victories at the World Gymnastic Championship in ljubljana, Slovenia, over the weekend.

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi became the first Malaysian to ever win a medal in the uneven bars even, as she secured silver by collecting a total of 13,100 points, merely 50 points behind eventual winner, Ivana Kamnikar.

Photo Credit: The Star online
Photo Credit: The Star online

One day later, Tracie Ang made it even better by securing a gold-medal win in the floor exercise routine with a total of 13,450 points. She was also joined by another Malaysian, Tan Ing Yueh, who also won gold medal in the balance beam event with a total of 13,800 points.

“I just would like to thank my amazing coach, I am here today because of her and I have achieved this much because she helped me become the gymnast that I can be,” Farah Ann said through a post on her Facebook page.

“Thank you to my family for always supporting me. Also, to everyone who has supported me thank you so much. It means the world to me,” she added.

Gymnastics

Elegant Cup: Malaysian gymnasts win five gold medals in Greece

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The Malaysian gymnastic squad have brought great honour to the country by winning five gold medals at the recent Elegant Cup in Kalamata, Greece. The Elegant Cup, or the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament took place from February 19-21. This is the national gymnastic squad’s first of many international competitions this year.

Photo Credit: The Star
Photo Credit: The Star

SEA Games gold medalist Koi Sie Yan won two gold medals for the individual all-around event and clubs event with scores of 14.950 points and 15.600 points respectively. She was also awarded two silver medals in the hoop event (15.050) and ribbon event (13.950).

Photo Credit: The Star
Photo Credit: The Star

15 year-old Izzah Azman, who became a new member of national squad, proved her worth by clinching two gold medals in the ribbon and hoop category. She was promoted to the senior squad earlier this year.

The junior squad won the final gold medal after impressing the judges in their group exercise performance. The team consists of Koh Jei Yi, Wong Kay Lyn, Amirul Fares Amira Sofiya, Nur Irdina Abdul Malek and Jessie Liaw Zi Xing. They scored a total of 10.250 points.

National rhythmic coach Yulia Ivanova was delighted with the team’s performance during the tournament and their willingness to perform new moves and techniques on the mat.

“We introduced new techniques and approaches during training, and it was nice to see them apply these changes in their first international tournament, she said as quoted by The Star.

“They executed their routines really well. There were a few mistakes, but we can work on them. It was a good platform for us to evaluate them, so I am quite pleased with that.”

Gymnastics

SEA Games: Gymnasts make history with double gold in a single event

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History was made when Malaysia successfully secured two gold medals in the same event. This is the first time an incident like this took place in the SEA Games.

Both Malaysian rhythmic gymnasts, N. Shasangari Sivaneswary and Koi Sie Yan had competed in the all round individual event held at the Bishan Sports Centre yesterday. Coincidentally, the two had topped the event with 60.250 points each.

Sixteen year-old Shasangari had expressed that the results were a miracle. “Before we performed, we had only expected to clinch one gold medal and one silver medal but instead something else happened. It was an unexpected result,” she said as quoted from Kosmo.

“We are very happy with two gold medals because this is also a historic event in the national gymnastics sports.”

The event saw no silver medalists as there were two gold medals given. Therefore, Thailand’s Panjarat Prawatyotin bagged the bronze medal with 57.350 points.

Photo credits: The Rakyat Post

GymnasticsOthers

An open letter to all Malaysians who slammed Farah Ann Abdul Hadi

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Hello folks,

I think it’s incredibly important to not blow things out of proportions here. I’m not writing this to openly slam anyone and disregard anyone’s belief. I, like most Malaysians out there, am decent enough to understand that we all have our own reservations about certain things, including religion.

We have principles and concepts that we adhere to on a daily basis, and that’s perfectly understandable. But what happened yesterday, was something I struggled to comprehend, for a plethora of reasons. Sexism, is probably the first.

Athletes have worn these costumes/attire for a very long time. Abdul Malik Mydin, a renowned Malaysian swimmer, who is best known for his feat of swimming across the English Channel back in 2003, accomplished his feat by wearing bare minimum clothes. Our national football team players wear shorts that doesn’t cover their knee, according to Islamic principles. Zulfadli Zulkifli, our national badminton player, wears shorts that doesn’t cover his knee as well.

I could go on listing down examples, but you get the drill. But for added flavour, check out Mokhtar Dahari’s image below. I don’t think it covers his knee either.

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Ironically though, I’ve never seen any negative comments being directed towards ‘Supermokh’. Instead, every coffee shop discussion on Malaysian football’s golden days, will not be complete without paying homage the man who is often touted as the greatest Malaysian footballer to have graced the field.

Not that Supermokh doesn’t deserve it, don’t get me wrong. He deserves every single plaudit that comes his way till today, after everything he did for Malaysia. But the double standard is something that sheds light on a deeply rooted sexism issue within the Malaysian society.

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi is no different to Mokhtar. I’m not comparing their success, but at the end of the day, they are both Malaysian athletes who went out there and made the nation proud. To a certain extent, some could even argue that it’s more difficult to achieve Farah’s success, considering she had to battle through sexism and societal expectations to be where she is today.

They wear these outfits, not for the fun of it. They do so, to allow them the opportunity to maximize their potential within the sport. It allows them to be as light as possible, to produce and manufacture the best time. It’s almost a pre-requisite to do well on the international stage.

Then comes the sport itself.

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I spoke to an individual who is within the gymnastic spectrum (wanted to remain anonymous) earlier today, and this individual had an interesting comment. “Truth be told, the severity of this incident would not be apparent if the sport involved was football or something that’s more appealing to the nation’s sporting culture. Gymnastics isn’t exactly regarded as a major sport in this country, so people don’t value the success of our talented athletes.”

While I have my own reservations on that particular comment, one can’t help but feel there may be some truth in it. Look at the discourse that has been taking place, ever since this issue exploded on social media. All attention has been focused on her outfit, instead of her sheer achievement. She didn’t edge through to win her gold medal. Farah Ann stunned the judges with her impeccable display en route to winning gold.

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But here’s the thing. The gold medal doesn’t mean a single thing without our support. The positive connotation that’s attached to every single success and medal out there, is derived from the support she receives from us. In clearer words, she banks on our support, every single time she heads out there on the battlefield. Every nerve-wrecking moment and butterflies in her tummy – they are all dealt with within her mind, by positive reinforcing the fact that she’s doing this for us and we’re there to back her up.

But having sacrificing hours to train and develop, before going out there to clinch a gold medal, she’s then criticized for an outfit that was merely used for her to clinch the win in the first place.

Then the ultimate question comes. Even if we disagree with her outfit, do we go out there and publicly shame her for it?

Any discussion about religious principles in sports can go on an endless path, but let’s stick to the point here, shall we. I respect your principles and disagreement, but I don’t think we need to make it public and impose our standards or expectations on other individuals. Farah Ann may not your match standards that you believe in, but standards or yardsticks are always tailored to your social and personal upbringing. It’s never the same, and can never be implemented uniformly across the board. It may be religious beliefs, but I think we Malaysians are capable of respecting boundaries and standards of other individuals. We have to be better than that.

Also, any form of public discussion doesn’t exactly help this athletes in the quest for more glory. The least we could do, in assisting their mission, is providing support and the platform within which they can thrive in and grow as sportsmen or sportswomen.

I understand that some of you may have said those things in the heat of the moment. I will respect your right to have opinions, but when it borders bigotry and misogyny, respect is the last thing you’ll get from anyone.

For what it’s worth, I hope we can move past this incident, and continue giving the support that our athletes deserve on a daily basis. You go, Farah! Keep making the nation proud!

Yours truly,

A fellow Malaysian