The national ice skating stadium at MYNISS, Empire City Damansara have been described as the best in the region. Pic by AZIAH AZMEE.

KUALA LUMPUR: Being an equatorial country without the possibility of having snow, it is not an obstacle for Malaysia to build a winter sports facility and organise the sport at the 29th Sea Games being held currently.

As the host for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games, Malaysia creates history in the biennial games held for the past 58 years where nine gold medals are contested involving six events for the ‘short track speed skating’, two gold medals for figure skating and one for ice hockey.

The venue for the event, located at the Empire City shopping centre at Damansara Perdana which was specially built for the winter sports at the biennial games is not only a centre of attraction for the general public but had also received praise from foreign coaches and athletes.

Singapore’s ice hockey coach, Robert Martini described the Malaysian National Ice Skating Stadium (MyNISS) which was recently built as being among the best in the region.

“It is most beautiful and certainly among the best in the region that I have seen. The facilities provided are also very comfortable,” he said when met by Bernama.

The coach, who hails from Canada, praised Malaysia for the efforts to complete the sports venue and thus boosting the sport in the Asian region.

The venue with a capacity of about 500 spectators for the winter sports was opened by the Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, yesterday.

Indonesia’s ice hockey coach Khia Peng Tan meanwhile said the ice skating venue could be said to be of international standard.

“World-class venue, although it was recently built, it is very good,” he said.

Thailand’s ice hockey team captain, Tewin Chartsuwan also shared the view stating that the ice skating rink which has four large dressing rooms. rooms for the officials as well as coaches could be categorised as being of international standard.

“The smooth ice surface enables us to skate better,” he said.

Meanwhile, national ice hockey team coach Kristif Kovago explained that it was not easy to maintain the ice in the ice hockey stadium in the country where the weather is hot with a temperature of about 27 degrees celcius.

“I have been to many places and MyNISS is among the most beautiful,” said the coach from Hungary. --Bernama