It’s a high for Malaysia and Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah at the Asian Waterski and Wakesport Championships.
The 16-year-old prodigy is certainly a class of her own after achieving a first ever clean sweep at all four individual events at the Asian meet in Bangkok on Sunday.
She started the day strongly in slalom, putting up a cool and composed run for a score of 4/55/13 rope to emerge as the winner.
Thailand’s Weeraya Rosendahl settled for the silver with a run of 3/55/13 while South Korea’s Han Ah-reum took the bronze with 2.5/55/13.
She had a much bigger test in the afternoon session – jump after Harue Kamiya of Japan made an improved jump of 37.5m from her preliminary best of 36.0m.
And yet Aaliyah passed with flying colours as she leaped to a distance of 37.8m in her second attempt to just about edge out Japan’s Harue Kamiya who posted a distance of 37.5m.
In third was another Japanese – Moe Sadamizu who finished with a score of 36.6m.
The slalom and jump golds added on to the tricks and overall title that she already had in the bag prior to Sunday.
Although Aaliyah fell on her second pass in tricks on Saturday, she still managed to post a score of 5,280.
It’s nowhere near her personal best and brand new Asian meet record of 7,680 which she posted during the preliminaries on Wednesday.
But she still claimed the gold by a mile, beating out Japan’s Lisako Ishikawa who had 3,380 and China’s Jiang Hui who finished with 3,190.
Her gold medal run in tricks also ensured that she would also claimed the overall gold with Kamiya and Ah-reum finishing second and third respectively.
“I’m super happy in getting a clean sweep in this year’s Asian meet. The last gold was really a touch-and-go and I’m very satisfied with my performance,” said Aaliyah.
“It’s a huge thanks to the National Sports Council (NSC), my sponsors and the media for their strong support for me and Malaysian waterski.”
Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (MWWF) head coach Hanifah Yoong was also pretty pleased with the outcome.
“She’s such a strong girl mentally now because not many skiers can win a jump competition after aborting the first 2 jumps due to timing and water condition as you only get 3 jumps in the finals,” said Hanifah.
“Additionally, she was so clinical to win the slalom gold to add on to the tricks and overall success and it’s a great achievement for her, to make an unprecedented clean sweep of four golds.”
“Her clean sweep achievement is historic as never had this been done before by any woman skier in past Asian championships.” Hanifah added.
Aaliyah’s success completed a great week for Malaysian waterski especially with her younger brothers – Aiden and Adam also enjoying success in Thailand.
Aiden, 13, won the Under-17 tricks gold medal and snatched a bronze in overall while Adam, 11, finished third in tricks.
The Malaysian waterski team is sponsored by the National Sports Council of Malaysia, Putrajaya Corporation & Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Sdn. Bhd.