MALAYSIA'S youngest ever Sea Games gold medal winner, Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah, who turns nine this month, is stepping up on her international competition schedule by competing in France in two championships this month.
Aaliyah competed in the Coup De Meuzac in Meuzac, France last weekend and will next be in action in the Wake & Gliss Passion Waterski Festival in Roquebrune, Southern France this weekend.
Aaliyah departed last Monday via Malaysia Airlines for Paris and accompanied by her father Hanifah Yoong, who is also her coach.
"Aaliyah has now reached a level where one or two international events a year is inadequate in her development towards an international waterski career. She needs at least five international competitions a year in order to progress up the world rankings," said Hanifah.
"She is presently on track to be Malaysia's first ever Asian Open women trick champion before she turns 11 in 2014 and will be in the Singapore Sea Games to defend her women tricks crown in 2015," Hanifah added.
While in France to compete in the two world ranking events, Aaliyah has also been invited to train with the French national skiers for five days.
The two-week training and competition stint in France was made possible through Malaysia Airlines sponsoring the air tickets with partial funding from the National Sports Council of Malaysia and Putrajaya Corporation.