It’s a lot of cheer for the Malaysian waterski team after top skier Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah swept the Asian category awards at the IWWF Waterski World Championships.

The teenage prodigy has already created history by becoming the first ever Asian skier to reach a final of a world meet earlier in the afternoon.

This was after her sensational showing in tricks, piling up a total of 7,320 points – a new Asian record – to finish within the top 12 in the preliminaries at the Water Sport Complex, Putrajaya yesterday.

And Aaliyah received an extra boost by taking all four awards – slalom, tricks, jump and overall – in the Asian category.

As the best tricks skier in Asia, the 16-year-old was a shoo-in for the tricks gold as her score of 7,320 was better than the efforts of China’s Jiang Hui (3,610) and Singapore’s Sabelle Kee (1,810).

In slalom, Aaliyah finished joint 22nd with a score of 2/55/12 to take the gold medal by a mile. The silver was won by Thailand’s Weeraya Rosendahl who placed 34th with a score of 3.5/55/14.25 while Japan’s Harue Kamiya took bronze after placing 36th with 4/55/18.25.

In jump, there were only two Asian women involved and Aaliyah’s effort of 37.2m beat out Kamiya’s score of 34.9m.

Those three awards were enough to hand Aaliyah the women’s overall gold.

While Malaysia dominated the women’s awards through Aaliyah, South Korea swept the men’s awards with their own 16-year-old star – Ju Seong-min.

The youngster took the slalom gold ahead of compatriot Park Jae-young and Japan’s Ryota Funo and the tricks gold ahead of China’s Zhong Junjie and Funo respectively.

Seong-min added a third award by taking the men’s overall, ahead of Japan’s Yuichi Yamamoto and compatriot Chang Tae-ho.

South Korea also took the men’s jump through Jeong Ji-min, followed by Seong-min and Jae-young respectively.

Meanwhile the IWWF also inducted five new members into the IWWF International Hall of Fame.

The five are Australian Garry Barton, Switzerland’s Kuno Ritschard and Americans Jim Grew, Debbbie Nordblad and Jennifer Calleri Schwenk.


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