Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sibu to groom future tennis champs

SIBU: Sibu Division Lawn Tennis Association (SDLTA), Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) and Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) are working closely together in grooming and nurturing talented young players into future champions.

SDLTA’s vice president Simon Tiong said this was the main aim of the recently launched junior tennis development programme which involves players in the under-14 age group.

Tiong said most of the young players here are lacking exposure because they rarely have the opportunity to compete in major tournaments.

“With the programme specially tailored for the young, we can see a brighter future for them and we have taken the first step towards achieving it…the onus is on the players to train hard and ensure that SDLTA is able to produce players of national or even international caliber in the not too distant future,” he told the Borneo Post recently.

And for the first time ever, SDLTA is sending players in the upcoming under 14 Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) junior championship to be held in Kuching sometime in September where top players from Asian countries are expected to compete.

The association is planning to send four to six of its outstanding players to compete in the event where SDLTA is optimistic of their chances based on their fine showing shown during training.

“Hopefully, they will become the torchbearers for the up-and-coming young guards to emulate,’ he said while disclosing that those players who excelled in the Kuching event may be sent to compete in the Sabah leg later this year.

According to him, SDLTA is sending players to take part in the event for the first time because previously there is lack of qualified coaches and development programme for budding players.

“We do not have proper coaches and this is about the biggest single factor that had affected us,” he said on why the standard of tennis has not progress in recent years.

In any sport, it is important to have a qualified coach or else, the standard of that particular game will stay stagnate or even deteriorate and that was why he decided to make some sacrifices when he became SDLTA coach.

He also roped in Brandon Wong, former Sukma player and Sibu tennis champion, to guide the junior players who are currently training at SDLTA tennis courts on Monday and Thursday nights, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

The ATF championship will be used by the association as a yardstick to gauge the effectiveness of its development programme but most of all it will be a good eye-opener for them.

SDLTA is also planning another round of its coaching development programme during September’s school holidays where beginners from primary schools can come and take part in learning the basic skills, strokes and footwork in tennis-

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Razmee dominates in Kuching

KUCHING: Razmee Rawi captured the men's singles and doubles titles at the Sarawak Closed Tennis Championship in Kuching on Monday. Razmee, who received a walkover from Kenneth Tan in the semi-finals, defeated Mohamad Norhairi Khaider 6-4, 6-3 in the singles final. Norhairi made the final after he struggled past Alvin Teng 6-0, 3-6, 6-2. In the men’s doubles final, Razmee-Augustine Chang survived a tough first set before outlasting Mohamad Zaki Pauzi-Norhairi 7-5, 6-1. SLTA vice president Douglas Telajan gave away the prizes. The men’s singles attracted only eight players while the men’s doubles was contested by five pairs.-

Monday, 18 June 2012

Father sent me to work as a jail warden to instil discipline, says ex-tennis player

KUALA LUMPUR: Behind every athlete is a dedicated parent and this is very true for former Sarawak tennis player John Lee. “My father was my role model and trainer,” said the 49-year-old. “He was an athlete himself and I was inspired to become one after seeing his achievements.” Joseph Lee, 76, was known as “the fastest man in Sarawak” in the 1950s and represented the state at various athletics championships, including the 1958 Commonwealth Games. What was more inspiring, however, was the “strategy” which the senior Lee, who was also a state tennis champion, used to train his son. As John puts it: “I had no discipline when I was younger.” At the end of his wits after failing to get his son to toe the line, his father did the next best thing he could think of – he ‘threw’ John into prison. “My father forced me to work as a warden at the Sibu Prison after I finished my Form Six,” John said. That quickly set things straight. His one-year prison stint did not only raise awareness in him on the consequences of going down the wrong path but also instilled in him discipline, he recalled. “My father was angry that I was hanging out with the wrong crowd and throwing away a scholarship offer to study in the United States. So he thought it would do good for me to meet the inmates and see for myself where I could end up if I didn’t shape up.” The regimented life – wardens have to train physically and mentally – later formed the core of his sporting skills as he trained under his father. Now a coach himself, John implements the same regiment in his students, especially his sons - Federal Territory basketball player Shawn, 19, and aspiring tennis player Johann, 12. “In sports, when you do something, you need to be committed and go all the way. Discipline is important and in training, you need to complete the whole course before going on to the next.” For his children, this entails helping out at his tennis clinics and at his sports shop every day. “When they complain, I always remind them that they should be fortunate I did not do what their grandfather did to me – sending them to prison.”

Kuching retain Inter-Division tennis crown

Favourites Kuching A made a successful defence of its crown at the Sarawak Inter-Division Tennis Championship when they beat Persatuan Tenis Bumiputera Sarawak (PTBS) B 4-1 in the final at Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) centre recently. In a repeat of last year’s final, Augustine Chang of Kuching A lost 2-6, 4-6 to Razmee Rawi in the first singles. Recently crowned Kuching Closed singles champion Kenneth Tan restored parity when he defeated Mohamad Norhairi Khaider 6-3, 6-4 in the second singles. Alvin Teng followed up with a 7-6, 4-4 (retired) win over Shuari Zawawi in the third singles while Kelvin Chong and Gregory Tan defeated Wahi Sahmad-Muhammad Zaki Pauzi 7-5, 6-3 in the first doubles for Kuching A’s third point. Captain Shawn Lee and Gilbert Yeo wrapped up the victory for Kuching A when they overcame the pair of Amin Tamel and Zainoren Alek 6-1, 6-2 in the second doubles.Bintulu made a winning comeback to the state tennis scene when they beat defending champion Kapit 4-1 in the losers’ pool. Liong Woei Hua gave Bintulu their first point when he beat Arthur Ling 6-2, 6-1 in the first singles, followed by Jonaes Townsend who overcame Wong Teck Kwong 6-2, 6-3 in the second singles while Mohamad Razif Osman downed Glyn Changai 6-3, 4-4 (retired) in the third singles. In the first doubles, the pair of Jonaes-Razif beat Patrick Alexius Uda-Sng Chee Hun 6-2, 6-1. Mohamd Al-Fitri Panyau and Joseph Arthur Taboh gave Kapit the consolation point by beating Muamar Quaadafi Abdul Razak and Mudahasi Shaimi 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the second doubles. More than 60 players representing ten teams took part in the two-day championship organised by SLTA. SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew gave away the prizes to the winners. Meanwhile, the highly anticipated Sarawak Closed will commence today with eight players vying for the singles title and five teams are involved in the tussle for the doubles crown. The men’s singles quarterfinal matches are between Riccoh Soh and Kenneth Tan, Gregory Tan and Razmee Rawi, Muhamad Zaki Pauzi and Mohamad Norhairi Khaider; and Alvin Teng versus Rohizat Achop. In the men’s doubles, the pairs of Zaki-Norhairi, Gregory-Riccoh, Augustine-Razmee have received byes in the first round while Kenneth-Alvin will play Amran-Zal Bujang for a berth in the next round.-

Sunday, 10 June 2012

PLTA to hold State Closed Championships

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Lawn Tennis Association (PLTA) is hosting the State Closed Championships, which offers a total cash prize money of RM2,600, at the Penang Sports Club tennis hub on June 15. The championships will have seven categories -- men's, women's and veterans' singles and doubles and mixed doubles. Entry fee for singles and doubles events respectively are RM30 and RM60. Entries closes with Janet Loo, Hon Treasurer, No: 19, Medan Sungkai, 10460 Penang.For details call Janet at 019-473 3200 or email:

Sea Games champion dominates KL Open

INDONESIA’S Christopher Rungkat dominated proceed ings on the final day of the Kuala Lumpur Open at the National Tennis Centre yesterday. Christopher, the top seed, recorded an effortless 6-3, 6-2 win over third seed Si Yew Meng in the men’s singles final. It was Christopher’s second straight title following his victory at a Futures in Thailand. The World No 367 earned RM5,000 for his efforts while Yew Meng received RM4,000. In the doubles final, Christopher and Singapore’s Roy Hobbs thrashed Syed Agil Syed Naguib-Ashaari Zainal 6-1, 6-1. Choo Lyn Yuen, meanwhile, clinched the women’s singles and doubles titles in the absence of national No 1 Jawairiah Noordin. She defeated Indonesia’s Derra Nur Haliza 6-0, 6-2 in the singles final before turning on with Ti Jia Wei in the doubles, where they defeated Yussyazlin Yusri-Siti Aishah Idris 6-4, 6- 2. Other results Men's masters singles: Marco Setipu bt Najib Ibrahim 6-1 (Rtd) Doubles: Marco Setipu-R.Ramachandran bt Koh Chin-Peng Lim 6-2, 6-4 Men's veterans singles: Marco Winter bt S. Selvarajoo w/o Doubles: Marco Winter-Andy Lee bt Ahmad Sharom-Sarjit Singh 6-2, 6-1

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Christopher eyes for title

Indonesia’s Sea Games champion Christopher Rungkat (picture) and National No 1 Si Yew Meng will battle in the men’s singles final of the Kuala Lumpur Open at the National Tennis Centre tomorrow. Christopher, the World No 367 and top seed, hammered Ashaari Zainal 6-2, 6-2 while Yew Meng, the third seed, upset Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals. The Indonesia, who won a Futures in Thailand last month, is the favourite. In the doubles semi-finals, Christopher-Roy Hobbs of Singapore defeated Ahmad Deedat-Christian Lee 7-5, 7-5 while Syed Aqil Syed Naguib-Ashaari upset Ariez Elyaas-Yew Meng 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. In the women’s category, Choo Lyn Yuen face Indonesia’s Deria Nur Haliza in the single final tomorrow. Lyn Yuen will be playing in confidence following her victory in doubles, where she and Ti Jia Wei defeated Yussyazlin Yusri-Siti Aishah Idris 6-4, 6-2. The KL Open is the third leg of the National Circuit.