Aaliyah Yoong sets three PBs, two Asian records

KUALA LUMPUR: National water skiing athlete Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah has a stunning start in her preparations for the World Games next month by rewriting two Asian records and all her three personal bests (PB) at Fluid Summer Showdown.

Aaliyah Yoong who had participated in the ranking tournament at Polk City, Florida from June 17-19, achieved a remarkable feat by getting past the 8,000 mark for the first time in her favourite event, tricks.

The 18-year-old broke new barriers as she set a new personal best of 8,080 in the tricks, her new PB and pending Asian record, to finish second in the first round behind United States’ Erika Lang (11,420) before finishing with a score of 7,300 in the second round.

Her previous best and Asian record was 7,680 set at the Asian Championships in 2019.

Aaliyah Yoong then continued her impressive form in the jump event, as she produced a leap of 41.9m in the second round, bettering her previous mark of 41.4m which was achieved at Moomba Masters in Melbourne in March.

The teenager also set another PB and Asian record in slalom, as she set a new mark of 4/55kmh/12m line in the second round, bettering her previous best of 3/55kmh/12m line achieved during the World Junior Championships in 2018.

Commenting on her latest feats, Aaliyah Yoong was delighted to finally beat her PB in the tricks, apart from improving a little more in the jump and slalom events after arriving early in Florida to train under Chilean coach Larry Gisler at Pickos Waterski School ahead of the World Games.

“I’m just so thankful to be back, training and competing in Florida after a four-year hiatus. This was a pretty chill tournament as everyone was just competing against themselves to improve their PBs and rankings and there was minimal pressure.

“It’s a good environment to be surrounded by so many good skiers and friends and Lake Grew is also one of the most ideal ski lakes in Florida. It is a small lake with no rollers and the wind is always almost in the right direction for jump.

“And I felt surprisingly quite relaxed the whole time I was on the water which definitely made me perform better,” she said in a statement from the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboard Association.

The Yayasan Sime Darby ambassador, currently ranked 14th in the women’s open tricks category, will next feature at the June Okee 3-Event Record tournament at West Palm Beach, Florida from June 25-26, before the World Games at the Birmingham, Alabama from July 7-17. – Bernama