Thursday, July 17, 2014

JUDO: Bronze target

THE national judo squad may be competing in their first ever Commonwealth Games but that does not mean they will be in Glasgow to make up the numbers.

National coach Othman Mohd Nizam Yeo, while admitting the three Malaysian athletes are still young, is still targeting a bronze medal.

“The three did really well at the Sea Games in Myanmar last year.

“Mohd Ruzaini Abd Razak, who is 19, bagged a bronze in the above 100kg category, while Mohd Farhan Uzir Mohd Fikri, 18 (below 66kg) and Nik Norlidyawati Nik Azman, 19, (below 57kg) reached the semi-finals.

“It is Malaysia’s first participation in judo, but I hope we will be able to return from Glasgow with a bronze medal,” said Othman, who trains the national squad at the Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in Bandar Penawar, Johor.

Othman is also thankful to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the National Sports Council (NSC) for including judo in the Games this year.

“I must thank OCM and MSN for giving judo the mandate to compete in this year’s Games.
“The exposure for our athletes will be vital as they are already looking forward to competing at the Sea Games in Singapore next year.

“We don’t really know the level of the sport at the Commonwealth Games, but I’m confident that our athletes will do their best.”

Othman, 29, has tipped countries such as Canada and England to parade strong teams in Glasgow.
“We know that countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are strong at the Sea Games, but at Commonwealth level, it’s different.

“I’m sure that countries like Canada and England will have a strong presence in the Games.”
The national squad, who are currently based in Johor Baru, leave for Glasgow on Sunday.

 By Fabian Peter- NST

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