STUDENT Nur Feiqha Maulad Mohd Halil is gunning for three gold medals in the chess competition in the Asean Para Games on Aug 15-19.
The chess competition will be held at the Commonwealth Hall in Bukit Jalil and the 15-year-old Nur Feiqha will be taking part in three events — individual, team and mixed team.
Based on her past performance, Nur Feiqha, who is currently undergoing centralised training at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil, believes she has a good chance of winning gold medals.
She won Malaysia’s two gold medals in chess at the last Games in Korat, Thailand. Her golds came in the individual and women’s team events.
“I am keen to win the two gold medals as well as in the new mixed team event,’’ said Nur Feiqha, a Form Three student of Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar in Johor Baru.
Nur Feiqha, who will be taking part in the visually impaired category, the Asean Para Games will be her first competition for the year. Being based in Johor Baru, she was unable to take part in competitions held in Kuala Lumpur.
But she has been training regularly on her computer. In fact, Nur Feiqha’s involvement with chess began on her computer. Despite being born partially blind, her parents had encouraged her to be active in chess.
“It was quite interesting and I was able to learn the basics involved in chess. Now I am also proud to represent Malaysia in international competitions,’’ said Nur Feiqha.
Malaysia has named a contingent of 18 players and seven officials for the Asean Para Games. At the last Games in Korat, Malaysia won two gold and two silver medals. In Korat there were eight gold medals at stake but for the coming Games 16 (eight individual and eight team) gold medals are being offered.
Malaysia team manager cum chief coach Abdul Latiff Mohamad said they had set a target of six gold medals.
“We have a group of talented players and we are confident of meeting the target. But there is also hope for more if luck is on our players’ side,’’ said Abdul Latiff.
The Malaysian representatives, added Abdul Latiff, were picked based on their progress in training as well as two competitions - the Braille chess championships and the Blind chess championships - in Kuala Lumpur.
“We did not have the chance to take part in any international competitions. However, we don’t consider that as a setback to our ambitions in the Asean Para Games,’’ he said.
The Malaysian team
Players: Mah Hassan Omar, Mat Idris Saman, Amir Samsudin, Moira Mukri, Teo Suat Nei, Liyanah Abdul Hamid, Choo Min Wang, Shaharuddin Sidek, Mahadir Abd Ghani, Nur Feiqha Maulad Mohd Halil, Norain Fatiha Mohd Yusof, Atirah Azman, Chuah Heng Meng, Ho Hea King, Mohamad Kelana Yusof, Aqilah Syahera Ahmad, Tham Siew Fong, Intan Juliana Jamal Abidin.
Officials: Abdul Latiff Mohamad, Asmah Ahmad Hambadley, Abdul Haq Mohamed, Roslina Marmono, Rizal Ahmad Kamal, Hashim Jusuh.
Good Luck to the Malaysian team!
PS: I feel MSSM should open door or new category for disabled person to take part and show their talent such as Nur Feiqha.