|28 JAN 2018||AALIYAH BAGS FIRST PODIUM FINISH AT US JUNIOR MASTERS|
Hats off to teenager Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah. The 14-year-old added another feather to her growing list of achievements when she bagged a first-ever podium finish with a silver in the tricks event at the prestigious Nautique Waterski US Junior Masters at the Callaway Gardens in Atlanta.
Aaliyah, a triple gold medallist at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year, had taken second spot in the first round with a score of 6,530 points which was good enough for her to make the top-three skiers for the final on Saturday.
Aaliyah then stayed consistent when it mattered to produce a final score of 6,400 points, behind Canada’s Paige Rini who finished with 8,020.
It was just shy of her season best of 6,960 and her national record of 7,600 but it was enough to secure her a second-place finish after American Kristen Baldwin could only manage 5,570.
Aaliyah, who missed out on podium finishes in 2016 and 2017, was certainly pleased with her effort.
“I’m quite satisfied with my runs because I managed to stand up on my first pass, which is the toes tricks, in both the first and final rounds.
“I did fall on my last trick which was the fifth flip and it’s something that I’m still not so consistent enough yet.
“It was a bummer but I’m still so happy to even get into the final in the first place and finishing second was certainly a bonus for me.
“Overall it’s quite a motivating result as now, I just want to aim higher and higher.
“I also couldn’t do this alone and I want to thank Nautique, Cory Pickos with whom I’ve trained with the past month, my family, friends and my sponsors who have supported me and gotten me here,” added Aaliyah from the US.
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong was also stoked by Aaliyah’s showing.
“She is eligible for four more years in the junior masters and she may even qualify to be invited for three events (tricks, slalom and jump) next year,” said Hanifah.
“The target is for her to win the junior tricks next year so hopefully she can move up to the pro women’s level in two or three years time.”
The successful US Junior Masters outing concludes the national team’s month-long stint in the US.
They have been based at the Cory Pickos ski school since the end of April and also competed at the Florida Inboards Records tournament two weeks earlier.Then 10-year-old Adam Yoong Hanifah had taken the limelight by winning the boys’ Under-13 tricks event with a new national men’s tricks record of 4,750 points.
|17 JAN 2018||AALIYAH WILL HAVE FIRST SHOT AT WORLD JUNIOR TITLE IN 2020|
If all goes well, waterski could produce a world champion for Malaysia in Aaliyah Yoong in the next five years.
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach and chairman of development committee Hanifah Yoong predicted that Aaliyah would have her first shot for a world junior title in 2020 in the Under-17 category.
“Aaliyah turns 15 in July this year. She actually has a good shot for a podium spot in this year’s IWWF (International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation) Under-17 World Championship, which will be held in Madrid, Spain, in August,” said Hanifah.
“From then on, she’ll aim for the world open women’s title in 2021 and 2023 world championships. I believe she’ll achieve it by the 2023 edition,” he said.
Hanifah added Aaliyah thrived on pressure based on her ability to exceed targets.
“She has often re-adjusted targets set for herself since she turned 12. She always set higher goals,” said Hanifah. “Aaliyah seemed to relish on being under pressure as shown recently in the 2017 SEA Games. She delivered three gold medals although the target was only two.”
Meanwhile, Hanifah added that the IWWF were actively pushing for waterski and wakeboard to be included in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games programme.
“The MWWF development programme is supported by the National Sports Council and National Sports Institute and we thank them for their valuable contribution, without which we would not have progressed to this stage.
“We hope that the Olympic Council of Malaysia will also push for and support the initiative by IWWF to have waterski and wakeboard be included in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. We’ll have a gold medal potential from Aaliyah by then.”
|1 SEP 2017||NATIONAL WATER SKIERS UNDERLINE POTENTIAL WITH FOUR GOLDS|
The four-gold haul highlights just how much potential Malaysia has in water ski.
Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah is the golden girl of water ski.
She broke into the limelight six years ago – aged eight – by winning the tricks event to become Malaysia’s youngest ever SEA Games gold medallist.
But even Aaliyah, now 14, could not have imagined herself finishing with three golds and a silver.
She had the worst possible start, coming down with high fever just two days before competition started.
Despite being half-fit and posting rather average scores, it was still more than enough for her to blow her rivals away for the women’s overall gold.
That set the pace for her as she slalomed to a silver and also easily took home gold in tricks.
The best surprise came in jump, where she turned the tables on defending champion Rossi Amir of Indonesia with a 32.6m effort.
She even broke older sister Phillipa Yoong’s 23-year national record (32.2m) with a jump of 32.8m during the preliminary round.
Aaliyah now has a year to prepare for the World Junior Water Ski Championships in Spain next August.
“For me the SEA Games is my last tournament for the year. The season is over for me. I’m looking to relax a bit,” said Aaliyah.
“My target next year will be the world juniors. I’m definitely hoping to do well there.”
Aaliyah is not the only star from the Hanifah family.
Nine-year-old brother Adam was equally dazzling as he put up a cool and composed display that belied his age to take the men’s tricks gold.
“I’m really proud of my skiers. They were under a lot of pressure but showed really good attitude, especially Adam,” said Malaysia Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong.
“He’s just a cool kid who doesn’t think too much. He knows he just needs to do his best when he goes out there.
|31 AUG 2017||ADAM-ANTLY DONE|
Water skiing is the sport of choice in the Hanifah Yoong household.
It’s not surprising then to see the youngest member of the family – nine-year-old Adam Yoong Hanifah – keep the proud tradition going by claiming a completely unexpected SEA Games gold in the men’s tricks.
Defending champion Febrianto Kadir of Indonesia ruled himself out of contention for the gold with two falls to finish with 3,140 points at the Putrajaya Lake yesterday.
Another strong contender from Indonesia – 16-year-old Dimas Ridho Suprihono – also put up a shaky performance for only 3,440 points.
Up stepped Adam. The nine-year-old performed like a pro on both runs to finish with a 3,860-point total.
Adam’s brother – 11-year-old Aiden, who was the overnight leader after posting 3,900 in the preliminary round – then had the chance to win the gold.
Unfortunately for Aiden, the pressure got to him and he fell on both his passes to earn only 2,790 points. That handed the gold to Adam.
Dimas took the silver and Febrianto the bronze.
The win makes Adam the youngest gold medallist in the 29th edition of the Games.
Older sister Aaliyah, however, holds the record for the youngest-ever Malaysian gold medallist, having won the tricks gold in 2011 aged eight.
Adam, who celebrated by running straight to his schoolmates in the crowd, was delighted to be standing on top of the podium.
“I’m really happy right now.
“This is my first gold in the SEA Games,” said an excited Adam.
“I wasn’t thinking about beating anyone’s scores today. I just went out there hoping to do my best.
“So I’m surprised and really happy to find out that I’ve won after it ended.”
Adam’s surprise gold means Malaysia finished with a 4-1-2 haul – a step up from the 2-2-3 finish in Singapore two years ago.Malaysia’s best finish was a 4-3-1 haul at the 2011 Palembang Games.
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|23 MAY 2017||RIGHT TONIC FOR TALENTED YOUNGSTERS|
The six-week training stint in Florida is paying off handsomely for the Malaysian waterski team.
The young SEA Games team, under the Kita Juara programme, have been training extensively at the Cory Pickos ski site since April.
The rewards came through a flurry of record-smashing performances at the Florida Inboards Open at the Santa Rosa Beach in the United States.
First off was nine-year-old Adam Yoong Hanifah, who broke elder half-brother Alex Yoong’s 24-year national record in tricks.
Eleven-year-old Aiden Yoong Hanifah was expected to smash the 3,830 record set by Alex, then 17, during the 1993 Malaysian Open.
Instead it was the youngest sibling Adam, who surprised by scoring 3,920 to finish first in the Under-13 category.
Aiden, who had one trick disallowed because of poor execution, settled for a new personal best of 3,780 and second place in the same category.
However, Aiden did grab a record by posting a score of 4.5buoys/18.25m rope/55kph to set a new national Under-17 record in slalom.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Syahir Nasir also had a memorable weekend as he broke the national slalom record twice in a day.
Syahir, who came close to breaking Alex’s 23-year record of 3/13/58 on the first day, got the job done a day later by scoring 3.5/13/58 in round two.
Not satisfied, Syahir went back in round three and improved his own record with an astonishing 1/12/58 score.
Syahir’s score is within range of a SEA Games gold with the 2015 gold medal mark being 3/12/58.
In the women’s event, 13-year-old Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah continued to fly high with top-notch results in jump and slalom.
Aaliyah, a two-time SEA Games gold medalist, soared to a new personal best in jump with 32.3m.
It was just 0.2m shy of Phillipa Yoong’s national record set in 1994, and has comfortably beaten the 2015 SEA Games gold medal mark of 29m.
Aaliyah went on to score 0.5/12/55 in slalom to finish fourth in the Under-17 category.
However, it was a brand new national record and an Asian Under-17 record. More importantly, it bettered Singapore’s Sasha Christian gold medal mark of 3/13/55 at the 2015 SEA Games.
With Aaliyah already well assured of winning gold in tricks and overall, her jump and slalom performances would have put her in strong contention for a four-gold haul when the Games starts in August.
“We are heartened to see the improvements by the Kita Juara athletes in the six-week camp in Florida,” said Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong.
“These improvements are massive even by our expectations and we are grateful to the National Sports Council (NSC) for supporting waterski in the SEA Games.”
|15 MARCH 2017||AALIYAH SERVES UP A BRONZE TREAT IN TRICKS|
Young water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has impressed with another strong outing – this time at the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia.
The 13-year-old claimed a bronze medal in the tricks event of the Junior Moomba (Under-17 event) on the Yarra River over the weekend.
She nearly made the six-skier final in the Open category before eventually settling for seventh spot.
Aaliyah has enjoyed a strong start to the year, having won two gold medals and a new personal best of 7,600 points in tricks at the Asia-Oceania Waterski and Wakeboard Championships in New Zealand last month.
At the Moomba invitational meet, Aaliyah started strongly to score 6,570 points for a third placing in the junior category.
It’s her third medal at the Junior Moomba. She was a silver medalist in 2014 and 2015.
But the bronze is worth its weight in gold as she was up against a world-class field this time.
Reigning world champion Anna Gay of the United States won with a total score of 10,220 points while world meet runner-up Neilly Ross of Canada was second with 8,450.
“I was rather relaxed for the runs in both rounds. Our strategy was for me to just stand up in all my passes and not chase the extra points on the Yarra ... it worked out well,” said Aaliyah.
In the Open category, Aaliyah scored 6,910 points in the first round to be placed seventh and qualify for the eight-skier semi-finals.
But Aaliyah, who won two gold medals at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, took a tumble towards the end of the semi-finals and finished with 5,510 points for a seventh placing.
Only the top six made the final.
Sixteen-year-old Ross (9,920pts) won the Open category, followed the United States’ former world champion Erika Lang (9,670) and Belarus’ Natallia Berdnikava (8,730).
“I did pretty well in the Open category by scoring 6,910 points in the first round despite falling on my last trick,” said Aaliyah.“I’m a bit disappointed with my semi-final performance. Anyway, it’s good for me to have some failures. I was up against some world-level skiers and I know I still have many more years ahead of me to get onto the podium.”
|05 FEBRUARY 2017||AALIYAH BAGS GOLD AND ASIAN RECORD IN COMBINED CATEGORY|
Teenage water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah is making waves again – this time in the Asia-Oceania Waterski and Wakeboard Championships in New Zealand.
Not only did the 13-year-old win two gold medals, she also broke the Asian record in the Open women’s tricks final.
She registered a new personal best score of 7,600 points in the final at Lake Kereta, Auckland, yesterday to become the first Asian to bag the gold medal in the combined Asia-Oceania category since the tournament’s inception 40 years ago.
Australian Katelyn Miller (6,260pts) took silver and Kiwi Georgia O’Connell (4,170pts) the bronze.
The day was made even sweeter for Aaliyah when her 7,600 points saw her grabbing the gold in the Asian category with a new record. It erased her own previous mark of 6,810.
Two Japanese – Saaya Hirosawa (3,620pts) and Kazumi Inoue (3,370pts) took silver and bronze in the Asian category.
This win proves that Aaliyah has learned her lesson after starting the year by missing the cut for the final of the World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, last month.
Then, the Singapore SEA Games double gold medalist took an early fall and only scored 2,560 to finish in 35th spot.
“My failure in Chile was definitely a bummer, but I’ve learned to be more relaxed. I’m back on track in the tricks here,” said Aaliyah
“I didn’t do too well in the slalom preliminaries here ... didn’t make the final, but I more than made up for it with my results in tricks.
“I also managed a new personal best in jump (27.9m) and that’s great because I haven’t made any new marks in a while.”
Aaliyah’s 11-year-old brother Aiden also did well by grabbing silver in the Under-17 category of the Asian Championships.
Aiden scored 2,720 points to finish behind Indonesia’s Dimas Ridho Suprihono (3,180pts).
Nine-year-old Adam, the youngest of the Hanifah siblings, just missed out on a medal after scoring 2,230 points to finish fourth behind South Korea’s Ju Seong-min (2,560pts).
|15 DECEMBER 2016||IWWF SELECTS MALAYSIA’S AALIYAH FOR 2017 WORLD GAMES IN POLAND|
Teenage water skier Aaliyah Yoong
Hanifah will soon add another prestigious event to her schedule
after she was invited as one of only 27 open women skiers to
participate in the 2017 World Games that will be held in Wroclaw,
Poland from July 22-29.
Aaliyah, 13, received the invitation from the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) through the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) on Wednesday to compete in the tricks event.
It is a major feat for Aaliyah as she had set another historic mark to become the youngest skier to be selected for the World Games at only 13 years of age.
Aaliyah, who bagged five gold medals at the Asian Waterski and Wakeboard Championships in South Korea in August, is ranked No. 21 in the world in tricks for open women and No. 6 in the world for U17 women.
With each country only allowed one skier, Aaliyah has leapfrogged several top skiers such as world No. 3 Erika Lang of the United States and Canada’s world No. 5 Whitney McClintock to take a spot in Wroclaw.
“I am so excited to be selected. It is such a great honour for me because this is the first time that i am selected for a multi-sport event at a world level,” said Aaliyah.
The teenager’s selection for the World Games will however put her 2017 plans into a slight disarray.
The 2015 SEA Games double gold medallist is due to depart for Santiago, Chile on Dec 29 to compete at the IWWF Junior World Championships from Jan 3-8.
She is also due to compete at the IWWF Asian Oceanian Championships in Auckland, New Zealand (Feb 1-6) and the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia in March.
Besides that, Aaliyah will also head to Florida in April for a six-week training stint with former world champion Cory Pickos and to compete in the US Masters in May.
She is also set to compete at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where she will look to win another two gold medals to add to her three gold medals won in the last two SEA Games in Palembang and Singapore.
“It is now a dilemma for us to try and fit the World Games into her schedule,” said her father-cum-coach Hanifah Yoong.
“We need to sit down with her and contemplate very carefully what is good for her despite this huge and rare honour for Aaliyah.”
The MWWF and Aaliyah have until Dec 19 to confirm their participation for the World Games.
|29 AUGUST 2016||WATERSKIER AALIYAH ENDS ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH 5 GOLDS|
Teenager Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has bagged five gold medals to cap a successful week at the Asian Waterski and Wakeboard Championships in Yeonggwang, South Korea.
The 13-year-old, who holds the Asian record of 7,110 points for tricks, was never a doubt for the gold medal in her pet event despite competing in the Under-17 category.
She first set a meet record of 6,660 points in the preliminary round before going on to secure gold with 5,340 points on Thursday.
It was a 1-2 finish for Malaysia in the tricks event as 15-year-old Arianna Chow (3,910pts) took silver, ahead of South Korea’s Jung So-young (1,860pts).
Aaliyah grabbed her second gold on Thursday in the jump event, clearing 26.7m – also a new meet record – to finish ahead of So-young (12.8m).
Yesterday, the double gold medallist at the Singapore SEA Games last year continued to impress by grabbing the slalom gold.
Aaliyah was way ahead of the field as she managed 3.5 buoys on a 13m rope for the gold.
It was also a new national record, erasing the previous mark of 2 buoys on a 13m rope set by half-sister Philippa Yoong 12 years ago.
Arianna again settled for silver with 0.5 buoys on a 14.25m rope. Lebanon’s Soraya Saghbini was third after clearing five buoys on a 16m rope.
Aaliyah’s sweep of all three events was more than enough for her to win the overall category – for her fourth gold medal.
Aaliyah, her brothers – 10-year-old Aiden and eight-year-old Adam – and Arianna then took the team gold with a score of 4,168.99.
Aiden also had a superb outing, scoring 2,760 points in tricks to pip Japan’s Ryo Nagatomo to the silver by 10 points. Indonesia’s Suprihono Dimas Ridho (3,180pts) took gold.
South Korea finished with the silver in the team event after posting 4,075.76 while Japan (2,041.17) took bronze.
“It’s an incredible result and I can’t believe it ... .especially since waterski is a sport that relies a lot on mental strength,” said a delighted Aaliyah.
“Winning the three-event was my personal goal, but anything can happen ... a favourite can fall on the first trick or first slalom pass, so I’m very happy to have done it.
“I’m just a little disappointed I didn’t beat the Under-17 record for slalom (5 buoys 13m rope).”
|16 AUGUST 2016||AALIYAH WINS 2 GOLDS IN SLALOM & TRICKS & HSU ANN A GOLD IN WAKEBOARD FOR MALAYSIA|
The 2016 Malaysian Nationals which incorporates the International Invitation concluded last weekend in Putrajaya saw Malaysia taking home 3 golds from a total of 6 golds available.
Malaysia's waterkiing star Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah grabbed not only the Women Tricks gold but also showed she is an emerging top level slalom skier by winning the Women Slalom gold.
Compatriot, Cheah Hsu Ann surprised herself and everyone else with a superb win in Women Wakeboard when favourite Galuh Mutiara of Indonesia had unfortunate early falls.
Indonesia won 2 golds through Zahidi Putu in Men Tricks and Ardy Trilaksanajaya in Men Slalom.
The remaining gold was won by Philippines' Mark Griffin who gave all present a stirring show of his wakeboading prowess by taking the Men Wakeboard gold.
In the Wakeboard Team title Singapore was placed in 1st place with the trio of Joshua Tay, Gooi Jia Yi and Stephan Kolvakov with 200 points.
Malaysia’s duo comprising Cheah Hsu Ann & Ariana Eimer scoring 180 points. Indonesia's trio of Galuh Mutiara, Aussie Aviriano and Dicky Mario scored 100 points for third.
With Mark Griffin being the sole representative from Philippines was placed 4th in the team competition.
The tournament was held in a different part of the Putrajaya Lake for the first time to test the water condition as compared to the traditional ski site in front of the Grandstands of Putrajaya's Water Sports Complex. This move proved that this new ski site has better water condition as 7 skiers achieved personal bests last weekend.
Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah (MAS), Arianna Chow (MAS), Aiden Yoong Hanifah (MAS), Guruh Dwi Samudra (INA), Safira Widodo (INA), Ardy Trilaksanajaya (INA) and Zahidi Putu (INA) all improved their personal best scores in slalom last weekend.
Team Malaysia has a great future as they form the youngest athletes in the tournament and is an emerging Asian force in team standings while Aaliyah is already amongst the best in the world. The team comprised Aaliyah (13), Arianna Chow (15), Syahir Nasir (18), Aiden (10), Adam (8) and Hsu Ann (27).
They are had been training hard past months under coaches Marian Malaquin of France, Larry Gisler of Chile and Al Fisal of Malaysia in preparation for the 2016 IWWF Asian Championships to be held in Korea in a week's time as well as for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The 2016 Malaysian Nationals was sponsored by the National Sports Council Malaysia and supported by Perbadanan Putrajaya.
|23 MAY 2016||PENDING NEW ASIAN RECORD!|
|A new milestone for Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah in breaking the seven thousand points barrier with a new PB of 7110pts scored in the Sunset Cups Master LCQ Tournament held in Groveland near Orlando, Florida today!
This is yet another pending new Asian record for this young 12 year old Malaysian.
"This is surreal and I am overjoyed!" said Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah as she became first Asian woman trick skier getting into this zone and shattering her previous PB of 6610pts set earlier this year.
#nautiqueboats #correctcraft #reflexbindings #majlissukannegaramalaysia #waterskiputrajaya #putrajaya
|13 MARCH 2016||RESTART PUT PAID ON AALIYAH'S HOPE OF A SPOT AT MOOMBA MASTERS FINAL|
An untimely distraction cost water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah a place in the tricks event final of the Moomba Masters in Melbourne.
The 12-year-old was on the way to start her first pass on the Yarra River when the boat was told to restart because the video signals were not reaching the judges’ tower.
That put Aaliyah off her rhythm and she fell in her second pass for a lowly score of 4,300 to finish last out of eight skiers in the semi-finals on Sunday.
World champion Anna Gay of the United States set the pace with 9,920 points while France’s Clementine Lucine was second with 8,770.
Another American – former world Under-21 champion – Alex Lauretano was third with 7,620 points.
Only the top six qualify for the final and Aaliyah’s score wasn’t far off from sixth placed Erika Lang’s 5,590.
“The restart after the aborted first pass did affect me a bit,” said the SEA Games double gold medallist Aaliyah.
“This could happen in any competition so I just need to be stronger in focusing on my task in future.”
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