Three gold medals the icing on Aaliyah’s 20th birthday cake

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PUTRAJAYA: The nation’s surfing queen Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah sailed into a glorious sunset on her 20th birthday today, when she won three gold medals at the Malaysian Ski and Wakeboard Championships.

In the finals at Precinct 6 Water Sports Complex, Aaliyah won the gold medals in the women’s events of Open slalom, Open tricks and Open jump.

“Honestly, I wasn’t aiming to hit my best in these events because this competition was held for water ski events in Malaysia after four years of not staging big events. But, instead, I was blessed to have a good outing … and to win these on my birthday, I am happy that I am turning 20 today,” she said.

Aaliyah announced that her focus will now shift to the World Open Championships in Florida in October.

She aims to at least qualify for the jump and tricks finals at the prestigious USA tournament.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, who was there to present prizes to the winners, said she is in discussion with the Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) to ensure that the Water Sports Complex continues to be well maintained so as to promote national water sports.

“This is so that more competitions like this (water skiing) can be organised in Malaysia,” said Hannah, who also expressed her appreciation to Aaliyah for her outstanding achievements.

Regarding the Rakan Muda programme, Hannah said her ministry is in a series of discussions with strategic partners, including other ministries to coordinate all related programmes under the umbrella of Rakan Muda.

“We are looking into all the coordination with other ministries and they are also discussing with the Youth and Sports Department to ‘park’ (place programmes) under Rakan Muda as well,” she said.

The Rakan Muda programme, which was reintroduced and given a new lease of life by the ministry, is one of the efforts to develop youth identity in Malaysia.

In addition, it is also a groundwork to give birth to a generation with sound ideals and high human values ​​to make Malaysia a great country in the region.-Bernama

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