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SAILING: Kedah expect to exceed three-gold target


STAR-STUDDED Kedah intend to continue where they left off at the last Malaysia Games when the sailing events at the Kuantan edition of the Under-21 Games begins at the Balok Water Recreation Centre tomorrow.

Kedah Yachting Association vice president Mohd Affendy Abdullah said the state, who were overall champions in Malacca two years ago, have set a three-gold medal target but however, expects his sailors to far exceed the goal.

"We have managed to put in a good amount of preparation for this event. Our sailors have been in Kuantan for the past two weeks and are in fine form," said Mohd Affendy.

"Development in Kedah has been on a continual basis and despite our sailors being very young, many are already at national level.

"Despite our official target to equal the three (gold) we won last time here, I am confident we will be able to exceed that."

Mohd Affendy added that he was expecting five of his more experienced sailors to shine at the event and help Kedah exceed their three gold, two silver and three bronze medal haul at the last edition of the Games.

They are Ahmad Latif Khan (laser 4.7), Khairunnisa Mohd Affendy (international 420), Khairulneeta Mohd Affendy (laser radial), Mohd Daniel Fauzi (wind surfing) and Natasha Nabila Shawal (optimist).

With the exception of Natasha Nabila, all have represented the nation at senior level before. They will be joined by another 12 sailors from Kedah at the event.

Mohd Affendy, however, said despite their strong line-up there would be no room for complacency and considered sailors from Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Sabah to be potential threats.

"It is hard to gauge the sort of talent we will be up against, but I am sure other states have also been working hard in developing talent the past two years.

"In sailing anything can happen and we cannot afford to be complacent.

"I am expecting Perak and Selangor, who finished second and third behind us in Malacca, to be among those who will challenge us for medals."

Races in all events begin tomorrow. By Fadhli Ishak

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