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MALAYSIAN teen Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah made history by becoming the first Asian waterskier to win a Moomba Masters title in 60 years.

The 16-year-old won her first-ever top-of-podium spot in the junior girls tricks of the famous pro waterski event, after having mounted the podium twice, in second and third placing, in past years.

She scored 6,900 points, finishing on top of the leaderboard with Australian duo Sade Ferguson (5,770) and Tayla Simmonds (5,710) in second and third place, respectively.

It is a first-ever winner’s trophy for Aaliyah since making her debut in the Moomba in 2013 when she was nine years old.

In jump, Aaliyah also bagged a first-ever trophy after she came in second with an effort of 36.5m to finish second.

Ferguson eventually won the event with a score of 40.1m, while American Alyssa Drake came in third with 33.3m.

Aaliyah also finished strongly in slalom, placing fifth with a run of 1.5/55/12 despite being seeded eighth.

Those three events combined gave her a total of 2,716.25 for a second-place finish in the overall event, just behind Ferguson who tallied 2,836.23 while Australia’s Layne Moroney came in third with 1,948.51.

It was certainly mission accomplished for Aaliyah despite the inclement weather as she improved on her two silver trophies from 2019.

“I’m thrilled to have finished with one win and two seconds and I’m definitely looking forward to the open category which continues this weekend through to Monday,” said Aaliyah.

Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong was also pleased with Aaliyah’s achievements.

“She managed to achieve all her objectives.

“It’s a first top of the podium for her here and a first jump trophy while also taking her second overall trophy by coming in second.

“On top of that, she will also move up the overall ranking and this will also ensure she will start in series 1 in the August 2020 Junior World Championship in Florida for all disciplines,” said Hanifah.












Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has crowned herself as the queen of waterski in Asia after she swept all four women’s gold medals at the Asian Waterski and Wakeboard Championships in Bangkok.

The 16-year-old was unstoppable as she skied her way to the slalom, jump and overall golds at the TE Wake N Ski in Bang Sai yesterday.

On Saturday, she took the gold in the tricks final.

By sweeping all four events, she etched herself into the history books as the first woman to achieve the feat.

In the slalom final yesterday, Aaliyah scored 4/55/13 ahead of second-placed Thai Weeraya Rosendahl’s 3/55/13.

South Korean Han Ah-reum finished third with 2.50/55/13.

It was more challenging in the jump final as she overcame a rough start before completing a jump of 37.8m to bag the gold, just enough to edge her Japanese opponents Harue Kamiya (37.5m) and Moe Sadamizu (36.6m).

By finishing top in all three finals, Aaliyah automatically took the overall gold to make it four.

“It’s a dream come true for me, because I have never won more than a medal here before and to come here and sweep everything is really special, ” said Aaliyah.

“I’m super happy with my achievement here especially in the jump because it was really touch and go but overall, I’m satisfied with my performance throughout.”
















Malaysian waterski darling Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah is on course for a clean sweep of four gold medals at the Asian Waterski and Wakesport Championships.

The 16-year-old has qualified for the tricks, slalom and jump finals in spectacular fashion after finishing tops in the preliminary rounds of all the three events at the TE Wake N Ski in Bang Sai just outside of Bangkok, Thailand over the last two days.

If she can maintain the same form in all three events, she is a shoo-in to bag the overall title as well.

Aaliyah gets into action in the tricks final today and slalom and jump finals tomorrow.

Her previous record was 7,440 points en route to finishing ninth in the final of the World Waterski Championships in Putrajaya last month to become the first Asian to compete in the final.

In the slalom preliminaries, she set a pace of 2/55/12 to break the long-standing 18-year Asian Championship record. The previous mark was a 5/55/13 that was set by South Korea’s Kim Key-young back in 2001.

In the jump, she impressed with a score of 36.9m on Thursday.

“It’s definitely the start that I expected. My goal in the preliminaries was to try and get a new personal best so I’m glad to get that down early, ” said Aaliyah.

“It’s been hard to stay consistent by doing over 7,000 points for the past two years but I’m with that development.”

If her form at the world meet last month is to be a yardstick for the Asian meet, Aaliyah is likely to take home all four gold medals.

The teenage prodigy bagged the Best Asian category awards in all four events – tricks, slalom, jump and overall – in Putrajaya.

Meanwhile Aaliyah’s younger brothers Aiden and Adam bagged home medals in the junior Under-17 events.

The 13-year-old Aiden won the Under-17 tricks gold medal and overall bronze while 11-year-old Adam grabbed the bronze in the Under-17 tricks event on Wednesday.





















PUTRAJAYA: Aaliyah Yoong ended her maiden appearance in the World Waterski Championships in style by lowering her own Asian record en route to a respectable top 10 finish in the women’s tricks final in Putrajaya.

The ever-smiling Aaliyah fell at the end of her routine but it was good enough to see her finish ninth, earning 7, 440 points on her scorecard to better the Asian record of 7, 320 points she set in the preliminaries on Friday.

The 16-year-old, who has been tipped as a huge talent for the future in the discipline, said she could not have asked for more in the final featuring the top 12 skiers in the world.

“I’m really happy with my performance today (yesterday) although I fell and did not get my last two tricks in, ” said Aaliyah.

“For me to exceed 7, 000 points twice in a row is amazing and I hope to be more consistent in the future.

“I actually felt more nervous in the preliminaries because it was my first time on the water for the tricks event here and I really wanted to make the final.

“I also had a bit of an advantage here because this is my home ground. I’ve been here for 11 years, so I know how it is, ” said Aaliyah, who also finished 10th in the women’s overall category with a score of 1, 984.63 points.

Aaliyah, who is only ranked 35th in the world, is hoping to improve in all three disciplines – tricks, slalom, jump – and possibly challenge for a podium position at the world meet in the near future.

“Tricks is my main event but I want to be a good skier overall. I actually like doing all three disciplines.

“I’m still quite far from a podium position at the moment. I still have a few more steps to go but hopefully, it will be achievable in the near future.”

Anna Gay reclaimed the gold medal she last won in 2015 for United States in women’s tricks after putting up a huge score of 10, 530 points.

The silver went to Peru’s Natalia Cuglievan, who scored 9, 570 while Germany’s Giannina Bonnemann took the bronze with 8, 740 points.

The 2013 winner Erika Lang, the world record holder from United States, fell in both her passes to finish with a score of 3, 710 points in 12th spot while 2017 winner Neilly Ross of Canada suffered a big tumble on her second pass to finish with only 5, 840 points in 11th spot.

Canada’s Whitney McClintock-Rini grabbed the overall gold with a score of 2, 569.21 points, dethroning three-time overall champion Regina Jaquess of US in the process.

The silver went to Belarus skier Hanna Straltsova (2, 465.71) and American Brooke Baldwin took the bronze (2, 448.92).

















PUTRAJAYA - The IWWF Waterski World Championships that is due to start from Aug 13-18 in Putrajaya promises a lot of thrilling excitement on the water.


Action on the water aside, the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) is also going the extra mile to ensure that spectators and participants will enjoy a full package of entertainment at the Putrajaya Lake.


That is because a carnival - ‘Adventure Carnival’ - with food, live entertainment and fun for the whole family is being organised at the Water Sport Complex, Precinct 6 from Aug 15-18 that is in conjunction with the world meet.


With the water sport complex located just right next to the grand stands of the competition, it will be the perfect opportunity for families to jump into the fun whilst enjoying the world-level water skiing.


Apart from the various food and merchandise booths, a host of local celebrities such as Anne Abdullah, Zarina Zainuddin, Aidil Aziz  and Zakiah Anas will also be making special appearances.


There will also be live musical performances by Ayu Damit, Shidi Data and Fredo Flybaits among others while clowns, stilt walkers and magicians will be making their rounds entertaining children.


An inflatable park and petting zoo will also be made available for younger children and there are games with prizes worth up RM12,000 are certain to keep the entire family entertained.


“The objective of the carnival is to encourage the public to come in droves to support our national team and the waterski sport in whole and at the same time to take this opportunity to indulge in the moment of food, fun, and excitement,” said MWWF vice president Alex Yoong.


The Malaysian team will be spearheaded by Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah and her two younger brothers - Aiden Yoong Hanifah and Adam Yoong Hanifah. The fourth member of the team is Nadiah Nasir.


A host of world class skiers have already confirmed their participation in this world meet with the likes of world champions Adam Pickos, Freddy Krueger and Regina Jacques from the United States among the star attractions.


Other top skiers in the mix includes Canada’s Ryan Dodd, Neilly Ross, Belarus’ Aliaksei Zharnasek and Australia’s Jacinta Carroll.


The world meet is hosted and supported by the Putrajaya Corporation, the Malaysia Convention  & Exhibition Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Nautique Boats USA.


The Adventure Carnival on the other hand is jointly organised by the Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Sdn Bhd and AEM Adventure Events & Management PLT.


Admission is free for all spectators with the preliminary rounds to start from Tuesday, Aug 13 to Friday, Aug 16. The finals will be held on the Aug 17-18 weekend.






















WITH less than two weeks to go before the start of the IWWF Waterski World Championship at Putrajaya, the final touches are being done to ensure the venue is brought up to world-level skiing condition.

The Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF), in collaboration with Putrajaya Corporation (PPJ), have spent the last four weeks upgrading the ski site to ensure that skiers for the world meet from Aug 13-19 will have a smoother experience on the water.

The Putrajaya Lake is arguably one of the best ski sites in the world in terms of infrastructure.

The only setback, if any, is that the water condition there is not the best as the water tends to get rough and choppy from the winds, and also due to the backwash coming back to the ski course after each pass of the tow boat at the stadium site.

In order to minimise backwash, the MWWF, with the assistance of Putrajaya Corporation, have installed two significant upgrades at the ski site.

The first is the laying of rocks along the shoreline of the stadium.

This is to help boat wakes arriving on the shores have the energy removed and not come back into the ski course when the competition gets underway.

The second is the installation of a windbreaker system. It is made of hard wood in 34 segments linked together for a total of 150m long for the far end of the 350m long slalom course that is exposed to winds from east of the open area. The windbreaker system floats just above the water level of the lake and “kills” the waves created from the wind from crossing into the ski course.

This is the second major upgrade on the site which was improved once by implementing a backwash system on the vertical walls of the Marina Putrajaya during the 2017 Sea Games.

The IWWF representative, Larry Gisler, who will be the assistant chief judge for the World Championships, said the upgrades have certainly improved the Putrajaya waterski venue.

“I’ve been coming to Malaysia every year since 2008 and we have done a lot of upgrades for the Sea Games and now this world meet,” said the Chilean who has also served to develop Malaysian waterski and is coaching the Malaysian team prior to the start of the World Championships.

“The water becomes rough from wind conditions and backwash, so the rocks are in place to ensure that when the waves hit it, it stays there. This will make the surface of the water more calm.

“Right now we certainly have the best condition for the championships. I would say the site is now world record condition and it would be nice to see some world records broken in two weeks time,” he said.

Leading Malaysian waterskier, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah gave her thumbs up at the upgrades done on the site.

“The ski site has definitely improved over the years. With the rocks and the windbreakers, there are now less rollers and the water is not as choppy as before,” said Aaliyah.

“Training-wise, I’ve been doing better since Larry got here. I think this will be a good tournament for the world’s top waterski athletes and I am certainly excited to set some new Malaysian records and maybe even get an Asian record or two.”

The 2019 IWWF Waterski World Championship is hosted by Putrajaya Corporation, and supported by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Nautique Boats USA.

The New Straits Times is the official paper of the IWWF Waterski World Championship.

  11 JUN 2019














PUTRAJAYA - Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has come so far in the world of waterski since bursting onto the scene in 2011.

As a pre-teen, she has already demonstrated huge amounts of potential when she won the SEA Games gold medal for tricks at the age of 8.

It would be the first of her many major victories and it certainly set her down the path in professional water skiing.

In the eight years since, Aaliyah has accumulated a lot of achievements, including becoming an Asian Oceanian champion in 2014 and is also a 9-time Asian champion not only in her pet event of tricks but now also in jump and overall.

Now 15-years-old, Aaliyah is slowly but surely moving up on the world stage and there is no better platform to show what’s she’s made of at the 2019 IWWF World Waterski Championships for the open category that will be held on home ground in Putrajaya from August 13-19.

The teenager can certainly draw on past experience as she looks to make a good impression against the world’s best skiers.

In fact, Aaliyah is already quite a ‘veteran’ in competing at the world meet.

She made her debut at the World Championships in Dubna, Russia in 2011 and also competed in the 2013 edition that was held in Santiago, Chile.

She achieved her best result at the open world meet at her third attempt - the 2015 edition that was held in Guadalajara, Mexico where she came in 24th in tricks, when still only 13 years old, against a top level field of adult open skiers.

Aaliyah gave the 2017 edition a miss in order to concentrate on the SEA Games that Malaysia hosted as she also honing her skills as three-event skier.

But she’s more prepared than ever to put up a strong showing in August, which would be her fourth world meet.

With a personal best of 7,600 points, achieved in 2017, Aaliyah is more than capable of finishing in the top 20 or better for the first time.

In fact that is also her goal as she is also currently ranked No. 20 in the world with an average score of 6,880, becoming the first ever Malaysian woman to scale such heights. 

It won’t be an easy task as the best skiers in the world such as Americans Erika Lang and Anna Gay as well reigning world champion Neilly Ross of Canada are all expected to make the trip to Malaysia.

Aaliyah will however draw confidence from the fact that she’s been putting up a good showing of late in tricks, judging by her run at the Junior Moomba in March.

Then she put up a score of 7,230 to take the silver behind Ross and it will surely serve in good stead for the worlds in August.

The 2019 IWWF World Waterski Championship in Malaysia is hosted and sponsored by the Putrajaya city and co-sponsored by Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Ministry of Youth & Sports and Nautique Boats of USA. 






































Teenage water skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah put up a strong showing in tricks to earn her best ever showing to date with two medals at the Junior Moomba in Melbourne.

The 15-year-old skier bounced back strongly following two falls at the Oceania Waterski Championships in Latrobe last week to post up a score of 7,230 points at the Yarra River on Thursday.

It was not too far off her personal best mark of 7,600 and she settled for silver behind world tricks champion, top seed and favourite Neilly Ross of Canada, who raked in 8,790 points. Chile's Josefa Gonzalez finished third with 4,880 points.

The silver medal finish also means Aaliyah equaled her efforts from 2014 and 2015. Both times she took home the silver in tricks as well.

But this year, Aaliyah will certainly be pleased with herself knowing that she will return with at least two medals.

This is because she also settled for silver in the overall event, with a total of 2,668.74 points.

Australia's junior world champion Sade Ferguson won the overall gold courtesy of also winning the slalom and jump events for an overall total of 2,677.73 points.

It was a close miss for Aaliyah and she will certainly rue her chances of finishing on top of the podium at the Moomba event for the first time since her debut in 2013.

Unfortunately she only managed an eighth placed finish in slalom with 5.5/55/14.25 and narrowly missed out on finishing third in jump after producing a distance of 35m.

Ferguson took the jump gold with a 40m distance while New Zealand's Lily Meade was second with 38m.

A second Aussie - Molly Ferguson, who is Sade's older sister, was third with a 36.7m.

If Aaliyah had made the podium in the jump she would have beaten Sade to the overall gold medal.

Nevertheless it is still an excellent result for Aaliyah who is surely on track to challenge for a podium finish at the World Junior Championships in 2020.

“I am very happy that I am able to match the jump world junior champion Sade in overall as she is the favourite for the world junior title in 2020. That is the yardstick I am aiming for,” said Aaliyah.

“Losing gold in overall to Sade by a mere few points shows that I am certainly able to challenge for the overall world junior title next year.”

Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong added that Aaliyah has come within striking distance of Sade and Kennedy Hansen of the US, who are the top two junior skiers in the world right now.

“She showed at the Junior Moomba that she is not only a contender for the world junior tricks title but also in overall,” said Hanifah who is also Aaliyah’s father.

“She has certainly come a long way in progressing in both jump and slalom in addition to her tricks discipline.

“She is expected to be ranked No. 3 in overall behind Kennedy and Sade at the 2020 world juniors so she has to stay within striking distance for all three disciplines of jump, slalom and tricks.

“As for tricks, she is already No. 2 behind Kennedy so she certainly stands a chance at the world junior title next year.”

Aaliyah, who is a student with the Nexus International School, will now take a break in order to focus for her IGCSE exams in May.

She will return to intensive training after May and her next major event will be the Waterski World Championships that is held in Putrajaya in August.

Aaliyah’s participation in the Nautique Moomba Masters is supported by the National Sports Council of Malaysia, Putrajaya Corporation, Nautique Boats and D3 Skis of USA.





































MELBOURNE - Siblings Aaliyah and Aiden Yoong Hanifah are off to a smashing start to the 2019 calendar after podium finishes at the Oceania Waterski Championships.

The 15-year-old Aaliyah continued to make her mark as three-event skier as she finished with one win and two seconds at Latrobe, 2 hours from Melbourne on Sunday.

The triple gold medallist from the 2017 KL SEA Games snatched a win in her pet event - tricks despite falling way off her personal best score 7,600 points.

Aaliyah, who was trying to incorporate new tricks into her run, posted up a score of 4,340 in the final which was still an improvement from the 3,660 she posted in the first round.

Although it wasn’t a very good score, it was still enough for her to squeeze home the gold ahead of Australians Sade Ferguson (3,940) and Layne Moroney (3,930).

Aaliyah however will be pleased with her efforts in both slalom and jump in which she finished with silver, twice behind Ferguson.

For slalom, she ramped up a run of 0.5/55/12 behind Ferguson’s run of 4.5/55/12 while she had a distance of 37.8m in jump. Ferguson narrowly took the top spot with a distance of 41.5m.

Aaliyah however will be exceptionally pleased with her effort in jump especially since she broke her own national record during the first round on Saturday. Then she flew a distance of 38.9m to erase the previous record of 35.6m.

“This weekend’s performance was fulfilling for two events - slalom and jump, but a bummer in tricks,” said Aaliyah.

“It’s my first time doing a new 6-flip sequence in a tournament that starts off with a big trick. It’s probably not the best trick to start off with and I’ll go with a smaller point flip in the future.

“Fortunately this tournament is just a practice before the Moomba Masters event next week which is my main objective.”

While Aaliyah had a mixed bag of results, 13-year-old Aiden was grinning from ear-to-ear after a top notch showing in men’s tricks all weekend.

Aiden, the middle sibling, had always fallen short in competitions especially against his younger brother Adam who had stolen ahead by winning the SEA Games gold in 2017.

There was no stopping Aiden this time as he went on a record breaking run, not once but twice.

First he put a score of 5,520 during the first round on Saturday to erase Adam’s national record score of 4,750 points.

Not contented, Aiden came back out during the final to put up a run of 5,680 points, rewriting the record for the second time in a matter of days.

To put the icing on the cake, he also finished with a bronze medal behind Australians Archie Davis (8,680) and Patrick Crisp (7,030).

The 11-year-old Adam on the other hand wasn’t too far behind as he notched 4,310 points in the final, an improvement from his 4,000 points the previous day, to settle for fourth place.

“I’ve waited more than 18 months for this. It is sweet to finally beat Adam’s national record in open men’s tricks,” said Aiden.

Aaliyah and her father cum coach Hanifah Yoong will continue to stay on in Australia where Aaliyah is due to compete at the prestigious Moomba Masters from March 6-11.

The trip down under was made possible with support from the Malaysian Ministry of Youth & Sports with MWWF’s chief coach Hanifah saying, “Team Malaysia Waterski this year again has the support of the National Sports Council of Malaysia for the 2019 training and competition programme and we look forward to see our athletes continue to improve in the world rankings.”

Other sponsors are Nautique Boats of USA, D3 Skis, Perbadanan Putrajaya and WWWC.




































PUTRAJAYA - Teenager Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has been invited again to participate in 2019 Moomba Masters held in the city of Melbourne scheduled for the 6th to the 11th of March 2019.

This will be the 7th appearance in the Moomba Masters for the 15 year old Aaliyah who made her debut in 2013 when she was a mere 9 year old competing in the junior Moomba for U18 girls.  

Aaliyah had ascended the podium three times in the junior Moomba girls tricks event when she finished 2nd in 2014, 2nd again in 2015 and 3rd in 2017. Her highest placement in the pro-women tricks event was 8th.

She is looking forward to get up on the junior girls podium again this year in another 2 disciplines of jump and overall besides her pet event of tricks. Aaliyah is seeded no. 2 in girls tricks, no. 4 in girls jump and no. 12 in girls slalom.

In pro-women tricks Aaliyah is seeded no. 12 in a star studded field which include 8 present and past world champions. World champions invited for the pro women tricks include Erika Lang and Anna Gay from USA, Neilly Ross & Whitney McClintock from Canada, Natallia Bernikava from Belarus, Jacinta Carroll from Australia.

For warm up Aaliyah is also slotted to participate in the 2019 Oceanian championships scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd March in Latrobe city 2 hours out of Melbourne. Her siblings Aiden Yoong Hanifah, 13 and 2017 SEA Games gold medallist, Adam Yoong Hanifah, 11 will join Aaliyah in the Oceanian championships.

The 3 Malaysian national waterski athletes will depart for Melbourne with their coach and father Hanifah Yoong next week on the 26 February.

Hanifah said, “Aaliyah has improved in all her 3 disciplines of tricks, slalom & jump in training past months. Especially so in jump which will put her in a strong position to have two chances for world championship podiums besides tricks in the years to come,”

“The near term target is for her to be a junior world champion in 2020 but Aaliyah has to juggle his waterski career with her studies as this year is also her IGCSE exam year for the year 11 student  of Nexus International School in Putrajaya.”

Aaliyah agrees it’s tough for her this year but, “I am going to try not to compromise my studies just for the sport and will very work hard in both. I am not alone in this as all young athletes on the way up go through this phase of important exams in schools.”






Malaysia’s waterski sweetheart, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah put up a commendable performance to  finish in fourth place in the tricks events in the 2018 World Junior Waterski Championships in Madrid, Spain on Sunday.

The 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games triple gold medallist accumulated 5,790 points to secure fourth place among 12 finalists in the event.

It was a major improvement for the 15-year-old teenager, who failed to make the cut in the 2016 edition in Santiago, Chile.

Neilly Ross of Canada  led from start to finish to claim the gold with 9,570 points,  Kennedy Hansen of the United States took the silver with 7,750 points while Daniela Verswyvel of Colombia settled for bronze after amassing 6,120 points.

Despite failing to score a podium finish, Aaliyah was still pleased with her performance at the meet.

 “I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with my performance as I broke personal bests and records in the jump and slalom events,” said Aaliyah,  who set a new national mark of 35.9m in  the jump and a new Asian open record in slalom with 3.0 buoys/55kph/12m.

“It was basically the best I could have done in both those events. Tricks on the other hand didn’t go so well, but overall, I’m still happy with a fourth place finish in tricks and fifth  overall,” added Aaliyah.

Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong also praised Aaliyah’s incredible performance, adding that the latter would now be focusing to improve her tricks.

“Concentrating on jump and slalom in the last 12 months took a toll on her tricks. We’ve got to get back to basics in training in the tricks.We’ll be concentrating on tricks more now whilst also balancing slalom and jump but at a slower pace,” Hanifah said.

Hanifah on behalf of MWWF also thanked the National Sports Council Malaysia (NSC) for the financial support and also the Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) for providing excellent waterski  training facilities in Putrajaya.

Meanwhile Aaliyah’s two younger brothers - Aiden, 12, and Adam, 10, also displayed a creditable outing in Madrid where Aiden finished overall 25th in tricks with a score of 3,520 while Adam, the national record holder and SEA Games gold medallist, placed 17th with a score of 4,410.


















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.
















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.”














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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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.”

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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.”

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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).

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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.






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).”

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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.




Results Wakeboard Men & Women

Results Slalom Men

Results Slalom Women

Results Tricks Men

Results Tricks Women



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.




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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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