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High hopes

Posted: 14 Mar 2011 10:04 PM PDT

Shabery confident of four Olympic golds

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 12:51:00

Badminton

HERO'S WELCOME: BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Salleh (left) greets Chong Wei at KLIA this morning

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first Olympic gold may come next year. And Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek believes it will come from one of these four athletes — shuttlers Lee Chong Wei (singles) and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (doubles), cyclist Azizulhasni Awang and diver Pandelela Rinong.

"We are still aiming for the first gold medal but there are four events which are within reach," said Shabery.

"Koo and Tan always display spirited performances and Azizulhasni remains the No 1 track cyclist, especially in the keirin event.

"Pandelela won silver in the World Junior Diving Championships and Asian Games and is now ranked just behind China's world No 1. It's possible," Shabery said after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Sports Council (NSC) and 100Plus at Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Chong Wei, who returned from the All-England championships this morning, remains the nation's best bet to end Malaysia's gold medal drought.

He edged Lin Dan 21-17, 21-17 in the men's singles final on Sunday to retain his title.

Judging from current performances, Danish duo Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen or Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China are most likely to net the gold.

Azizulhasni, meanwhile, could enjoy a podium finish while Pandelala would need to compete in more GPs and perform well in the 14th World Championship in July to gauge her chances.

The athletes are part of the Road to London programme which involves 77 athletes from archery, badminton, cycling, diving, football, hockey and shooting.

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Brother, how art thou

Posted: 14 Mar 2011 09:58 PM PDT

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 12:50:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The Adenovirus outbreak at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak is worrying Sapura player Jiwa Mohan.

The cause of Jiwa's concern is his younger brother Jivan (pic) who started training at the centre two weeks ago.

A total of 308 trainees have been quarantined following the outbreak which has claimed one life. Some 26 others were warded at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, including three in intensive care unit.

Jivan is training for the rank of Inspector.

"I have not kept in touch with Jivan since he joined training. Obviously, as a brother I'm worried about him," said Jiwa.

"But the latest feedback from Pulapol has assured us that everything is okay with the trainees."

The Perth-based engineer said he misses his brother both on and off the pitch.

"We played together for almost eight years. He has always been instrumental for Sapura in midfield. We've failed to win for the past three years. We will try our best this year and I intend to dedicate the trophy to him if we do," added Jiwa.

Sapura will try to clinch the elusive overall title against favourites KL Hockey Club in the final on Saturday.

The 2005 league and overall champions lost the overall title to Tenaga Nasional Berhad after a penalty shootout last season.

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