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Malaysia to raise traditional sports issue at SEAGF meeting

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Malaysia will bring up the issue relating to the listing of traditional sports events at the 2019 SEA Games at the Sea Games Federation (SEAGF) meeting scheduled to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 20 to 21.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said this following a post-mortem done on the Malaysian contingent’s performance at the biennial games held in the Philippines December last year.

“It is our concern that the issue should be brought up at the SEAGF level which gives host nations an advantage.

This is due to a reduction of core sports at the biggest multi-sport event in Southeast Asia, he told reporters after chairing the OCM Executive Council Meeting at Wisma OCM here today.

Mohamad Norza said the issue of athlete eligibility would also be raised at the meeting citing the use of naturalised athletes with dual citizenship at the 2019 SEA Games by the host as an example.

He said logistics issues involving the competition venues and the athletes’ village would also be addressed at the meeting, citing the national contingent’s experience of having to take between three and five hours to reach certain venues.

Malaysia would also voice out concerns about the judging standards the meeting, he added.

Mohamad Norza said that prior to attending the meeting, OCM would hold a meeting with the national sports associations in April to discuss matters pertaining to the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

New SOP to curb spread of coronavirus at wheelchair tennis tournament

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia as the host nation of the wheelchair tennis 2020 World Team Cup has set a new standard operating procedure (SOP) as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection.

Wheelchair Tennis Malaysia (WTM) president Muhd Iqbal Sulaiman said the new procedures included athletes participating in the tournament especially from China to get a vaccination along with medical verification letter from a doctor before being allowed to compete.

He said the Immigration would also provide a special lane at the airport for the participants to undergo thermal screening procedure.

They also have to attach their itinerary during the week before arriving in Malaysia to facilitate health screening, he said when met at the Malaysian Paralympic Council’s press conference on the postponement of the 10th ASEAN Para Games in the Philippines, here today.

Muhd Iqbal said the decision to proceed with the Asian qualifiers for 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, was made during a discussion between WTM and the International Tennis Federation.

The tournament, scheduled to be held from March 4 to 7 at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta, will feature 70 athletes from 10 countries namely Malaysia, Colombia, Iran, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Australian rider wins second stage of 2020 LTdL

KEMAMAN, Australian rider, Taj Jones won the second stage of 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) cycling race, involving a distance of 261.1km from Dataran Batu Buruk to Bandar Baru Kerteh, here, today.

The Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast crossed the finish line first ahead of remaining nine top finishers in a bunch sprint with a total time of 4 hours 05 minutes and 29 seconds.

NTT Pro Cycling Team, Maximilian Richard Walscheid of Germany who won the 2020 LTdL curtain-raiser, Kota Kinabalu International Criterium, last Thursday, came in second place, while the French rider, Jeremy Lecroq of B and B Hotels-Vital Concept in third.

Local rider, Mohd Harrif Saleh of Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team emerged as the Best Malaysian Rider after finishing fifth.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Young Aussie stuns favourites to snatch victory in stage two

KEMAMAN, Young Australian rider Taj Jones of the Ara Pro Cycling Sunshine Coast team beat several favourite riders in a bunch sprint to win the second stage of 2020 Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) cycling race from Dataran Batu Buruk to Bandar Baru Kerteh here today.

The 19-year-old defeated fancied sprinters like the 2020 LTdL curtain-raiser winner, Germany’s Maximilian Richard Walscheid of NTT Pro Cycling Team, and Italians Riccardo Minali, Matteo Pelucchi and Luca Pacioni to win the 261.1km race, the longest route in the championship.

The chief judge awarded the same time of 4 hours 5 minutes and 29 seconds to the top 10 finishers after they crossed the finish line in a bunch.

Today’s victory propelled Jones to third place from 11th out of the 123 riders overall.

“This is the longest route that I’ve ever raced so far, and I’m very proud with my teammates to clinch today’s victory.

“It was a tight battle at the end of the finishing line; the routes were mostly flat and I enjoyed the race.The strategy in today’s race was to stay within the peloton group before we made an attack towards the finishing line and we finally made it,” he told reporters.

Overnight leader of the Yellow Jersey, Yevgeniy Fedorov of Vino-Astana Motors, is bracing himself for a rough ride in stage three tomorrow, which features a few climbing zones.

“It would be a tough battle tomorrow as I’m a pure sprinter, but I hope my teammates can retain the Yellow Jersey for our team. I believe they can do it,” he said through an interpreter.

Stage three, which covers a distance of 162.5km from Dataran Temerloh to KLCC, features three sprint zones in Mentakab, Desa Bakti and Mempaga, besides three climbing zones in Bukit Damar, Bentong and Genting Highlands.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Quartararo tops timesheet again on second day of 2020 MotoGP winter test

SEPANG, Another strong move from Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT), as Fabio Quartararo once again topped the timesheet on the second day of the 2020 MotoGP pre-season winter test at the Sepang Circuit today.

The Frenchman made his mark on his brand new 2020 factory-spec Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time to set the fastest lap one minute 58.572 seconds after completing 72 laps.

He was 0.069s faster than Jack Miller of Pramac Racing (1:58.641s), followed by another stellar performance by Dani Pedrosa of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (1:58.662s).

I am really positive because this is only our first day with the bike. We did 72 laps, which is quite a lot, but I’m so happy to already feel good on the bike. It is difficult to make a new bike really good in one day. We hope to make another step tomorrow.

We had quite a lot of laps in the 1:59.00s on old tyres so that’s really positive. We need to improve the pace a little bit because I am not feeling 100 percent comfortable.

We know that with a new bike you have some positive points and some parts that you are struggling a bit, but at the moment I have already found the positives in one day, said Quartararo in a statement issued by the team.

His team mate, Franco Morbidelli of Italy finished fifth with a time of 1:58.831s, better than yesterday’s test where he clocked 1:58.996s.

Testing will resume for the final day at the Sepang Circuit tomorrow morning at 10 am with the chequered flag closing the action on the first official test of 2020 at 6pm.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

White Jersey winner Mamat not placing high hopes on stage three

KEMAMAN, Terengganu Inc. TSG Cycling Team’s sprint specialist Mohd Harrif Saleh is not confident of holding on to the White Jersey for the best Asian rider despite winning it in the second stage of the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2020 today.

The 31-year-old rider said stage three tomorrow would be particularly tough as it involves many hilly stretches, which would give an edge to hill-climb riders.

“I am happy with the victory today but expect the Kazakhstan riders (from Vino-Astana Motors) to dominate day three tomorrow because most of them are very experienced in hilly terrain.

“So, maybe the chances are good for Carlos (Julian Quintero) of Colombia, who is experienced in both hilly and flat terrains but I hope not to be left far behind, he told reporters today.

Mohd Harrif, who is fondly known as ‘Mamat’, grabbed the White Jersey after clocking 4 hr 5 min and 29 sec to finish among the top 10 in stage two, which at 261.1km is the longest route in the cycling race, which will end in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah on Feb 15.

Former TSG Cycling Team rider Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman, who announced his retirement in January last year, is the only Malaysian to have won the White Jersey in the prestigious Asian race since its inception in 1996.

Another national rider, Muhamad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff of Team Sapura Cycling, expressed satisfaction with his performance today after grabbing nine points in three intermediate sprint zones — Chendering, Rantau Abang and Bandar Al Muktafi Billah Shah.

That enabled the Setiu-born rider to earn a time bonus of nine seconds and jump to fourth overall with a total time of 5 hr 57 min and 38 sec after two stages.

The 162.5km stage three tomorrow is from Dataran Temerloh to KLCC, involving three sprint zones in Mentakab, Desa Bakti and Mempaga and three climbing zones in Bukit Damar, Bentong and Genting Sempah.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

TM returns as title sponsor for Malaysia Cup

KUALA LUMPUR, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) through its subsidiary, TM Multimedia (TMM), today signed a collaboration agreement with the Malaysian Football League (MFL), making the telecommunications company the main sponsor of the Malaysia Cup competition.

The three-year deal with the amount undisclosed, also sees TM as co-sponsor of the Super League, Premier League, FA Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures in the Malaysian League (M-League) starting Feb 28.

The collaboration, aimed at the development of local football, was signed by MFL acting chief executive officer, Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan and TMM chief executive officer, Moharmustaqeem Mohammed, witnessed by MFL president, Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.

We are thrilled to rekindle our partnership with MFL, making TM the longest-running sponsor for a football programme in Southeast Asia.

“We want to bring exciting football to all Malaysians, especially the matches involving the Malaysia Cup, FA Cup, Charity Shield, Super League and the historic and most-loved in the country, the Premier League,” Moharmustaqeem said at a press conference, here, today.

Meanwhile, Hamidin who is also Football Association of Malaysia president, expressed his confidence in TM’s commitment to revitalising the local football scene based on the role and contributions of the telecommunications company had played before this.

TM’s long-term commitment to the league proves that the M-League has the potential. TM has always been a loyal supporter of Malaysian football and MFL is grateful to TM for bringing Malaysians together, he said.

TM through its brand Unifi had already signed an eight-year contract worth RM480 million with MFL in January 2018 to become an M-League sponsor.

However, in March 2019, MFL and TM terminated the contract after both parties failed to reach an agreement.

All Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup matches will be broadcast live via unifi TV service on five unifi sports channels (channels 701-705).

However, to enjoy all the live games, football fans have to subscribe to the unifi TV Ultimate Pack while customers without the pack can purchase a watch pass to see the matches on unifi TV through Media Box or unifi PlayTV app.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)