Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ex-journalists organise event to honour icons who brought sporting glory to nation

(From left) Vijayanathan, George, Yogeswaran and Paramalingam.
(From left) Vijayanathan, George, Yogeswaran and Paramalingam.

FOUR former journalists have not forgotten the sports icons who brought glory to the nation.
The foursome — George Das, R. Velu, Fauzi Omar and Lazarus Rokk — organised a get together, Sports Flame, to honour the sportsmen and sportswomen who were household names in 1960s and 1970s.

The event, George said, was to remember the legendary sports personalities and honour them.
“Most of them have been left in the shadows of an industry that is continously aiming to produce the next generation of successful athletes. But we felt that their contributions and sacrifices should be remembered. Space and time have elapsed but we are hoping to immortalise these memories in our archives,’’ said George, the mentor of the quartet.

Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan (left) and Datuk Nashatar Singh.
Jegathesan (left) and Datuk Nashatar Singh.
About 120 sports personalities and sports writers gathered in Kuala Lumpur to reminisce the golden era of Malaysian sports. The sports icons were from five sports — football, badminton, athletics, hockey and cycling.

Former national football midfielder Wong Choon Wah, who passed away on Jan 31, was one of the recipents of the Sports Flame.

He was in his usual jovial manner greeting all his compatriots.
Datuk Peter Velappan, who had served in Football Association of Malaysia as well as FIFA, was also present to meet his old friends.

“It is good to see them after a long time.’’ said Peter.

N.A. Baskaran (right) greeting Zaiton Othman (left) and V. Angamah
N.A. Baskaran (right) greeting Zaiton Othman (left) and V. Angamah.
Former hockey international C. Paramalingam said he was pleased to be invited for such a meaningful event.

“All the sports personalities had a good relationship with the journalists. I think they were pleased to be part of this event. Meeting the greats from other sports is also good as we can recall the old days when we used to be in the Malaysian contingent for the SEA Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games,’’ said Paramalingam.

Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan, whose national 200m record still stands, shared his experience on taking part in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, while former Malaysian Hockey Federation secretary and FIH umpire Datuk G. Vijayanathan and Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union secretary N. A. Baskaran were also present.

George said their group was not an organisation or corporation flushed with cash to reward the honourable men and women.

from left- M. Kuppan, Fauzi Omar, N. Thanabalan and the late Wong Choon Wah
(From left) M. Kuppan, Fauzi, N. Thanabalan and the late Choon Wah.
“What we have for them is a simple momento acknowledging their respective contributions to the nation and the Malaysian sporting scene. This is our little but most heartfelt way of saying that we remember them for their sacrifices and recognise their roles in building the nation. Most importantly, we are proud of them,’’ said George.

Former national hurdler Ishtiaq Mubarak’s wife R. Selvarani was present with her two daughters — Shaniz and Shakira — and thanked the organisers for honouring her late husband.

Several sports icons, due to other commitments, were not able to attend the programme but George said they would be visiting the athletes to present the momento.
George said they were keen to make the event an annual affair.

Athletics: Annie Chong, M. Jegathesan, M. Rajamani, Nashatar Singh, T. Krishnan, Asir Victor, Karu Selvaratnam, R. Subramaniam, A.Vaithilingam.
Football: Paul Mony Samuel, Peter Velappan, George Joseph, M. Chandran, Syed Ahmad, Shaharuddin Abdullah, Namat Abdullah, Wong Choon Wah, N. Thanabalan, M. Kuppan, M. Karathu, Clement Soosay, Chow Chee Keong.
Hockey: Freddy Vias, Mike Shepherdson, Aminulah Karim, R. Yogeswaran, C. Paramalingam, M. Doraisamy, Lawrence Van Huizen, G. Vijayanathan, K. Anandarajah.

Badminton: Teh Kew San, Tan Yee Khan, Ng Boon Bee, Yew Cheng Hoe, Tan Aik Huang, Tan Aik Mong

Cycling: Shaharudin Jaffar, Ng Joo Pong, N.A. Rosli.

Monday, March 3, 2014

10 Things you didn't know about Pandelela

Pandelela Rinong may have won a lot of competitions, but deep down she's just a regular girl at heart.
Pandelela Rinong may have won a lot of competitions, but deep down she's just a regular girl at heart.
A BRONZE medal in the 10m platform at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London catapulted her to superstardom in Malaysia. Yet, even with her growing popularity as the poster child of Malaysian sports, Pandelela Rinong has managed to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Despite the medals and trophies she has won, deep down the 20-year-old is just a regular girl who wants to travel the world and loves all things K-pop.
Want to know her better?

Here are 10 things you might not know about Malaysia's dive queen:

1. I am Pandelela
She says her name “Pande” is similar to the Malay word “padai” (smart). But, her diving coach and friends call her Lela. And mum has a special nickname for her – Nong.

2. No diving? She’d be a gymnast!
“I love watching gymnastics, so if I wasn’t diving, I’d love to have taken up either artistic or rhythmic gymnastics, possibly perform a floor or ribbon routine. I love the colourful ribbon,” shares Pandelela.

3. The power of prayer
Every athlete has their own way to prepare for that all important match/competition. This is how Pandelela prepares: “My special routine is to call or text my family to tell them that I’m going to compete and we pray together.”

4. Training
You might think this top athlete loves training, and you would be wrong. “I don’t enjoy my everyday training ... in fact I hate it (laughs). I think the plus point of that is that I get to chat and gossip with my team-mates. But I like doing gym work. And I much prefer the training sessions right before a competition. And if I’m not training, it’s sambal udang petai, chicken wings and carrot milk for me ... and seafood.”
Pandelela Rinong loves gym work more than actual training.
Pandelela Rinong loves gym work more than actual training.
5. Guilty pleasures
Just like a lot of Malaysians her age, Pandelela likes K-pop.
“I like to dance to catchy K-pop songs and learn their dance moves. I have to admit I’m not good at singing but I still sing along to their songs. But it’s quite embarrassing to show this side of me to people other than my friends,” she admits

6. Budding traveller
“I’d love to travel and see the world. I do get to visit countries when I compete but if I have a competition to focus on, I can’t really enjoy the experience. I’d love to go to Seoul, South Korea, because I want to see where my K-pop idols Bing Bang live and see them in concert. Next on the list is Japan … simply to see cosplay events and the sakura trees,” she says.

7. I <3 strong="" totoro="">
Pandelela is a HUGE Totoro fan. Totoro is a character from the Japanese anime My Neighbor Totoro.

“I love all things Totoro. Basically, I buy anything that is associated with Totoro. I also collect Totoro toys and dolls. I have everything from Totoro bed sheets, bags, shirts, hat and stuffed toys!”
Pandelela Rinong is a big fan of Tororo - can you tell?
Pandelela Rinong is a big fan of Tororo - can you tell?
8. Biggest boo-boo
She is not perfect and not embarrassed to admit it either.
“It was a in 2010 during the diving World Series in Mexico. I was too focused and took the wrong position for the dive – it was different from the one that was called by the announcer. Then the whistle blew just before my coach called my name and I realised I was in the wrong position. I quickly changed my position and did the correct dive. But I was given zero points for the dive because once the whistle sounds, everyone should remain silent.”

9. Higher and higher
“High diving has a higher platform which is more challenging. I would like to challenge myself with that, but Malaysia does not have a high diving plaform yet. If I have the chance to travel overseas and try it, I surely will.”

10. Tennis idol
Who would she like to meet at the Laureus Awards in KL on March 26?
“(Rafael) Nadal, please ... (laughs). I admire his work ethic, he’s so hardworking! And I always see him play on ESPN.”