KUALA LUMPUR – Winning the title will be a tall order for the Malaysian team at the 3rd World Women Confederation Cup petanque championship that commences today at the Arena Petanque PPWPKL Pudu, Ulu Cheras here.
The two-day tournament will see eight countries competing in the triples and shooting category.
The Petanque Federation of Malaysia in a statement here today said defending champions Thailand would lead the cast which comprises France, Australia, Sweden, Vietnam, Canada, USA and Malaysia.
For the record, Malaysia have never won a gold medal at the SEA Games level with only five bronze medals to show from their last outing at the Myanmar Games last year.
Still Malaysia’s team of four youngsters — Anis Amirah Basri (16 years old), Nurul Atikah Abu Talib (19), Nur Thahira Tasnim Abdul Aziz (17) and Aribah Aida Hasan (19) — are upbeat about their chances, setting a place in the semis as their initial target.
As for Anis Amirah, she is fully aware of the demands in playing in such a high class event as her mother Rabi’ah Abdul Rahman was world number three in petanque after the World Confederation Cup held in Laos in 2010.
“Though this is my first world competition, other then being a bit nervous I am optimistic we can make it to the semis as France are our main obstacle,” said the form four student of SMK Teknik Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban.
Nurul Atikah, who is pursuing her sports science degree at UiTM Shah Alam, will have an added responsibility as she will also be competing in the shooting event.
“Although I am a bit nervous (competing in the World Women Confederation Cup), I cannot wait to see action. My long term target is to win gold at the SEA Games and hope to achieve it in 2017 on home soil,” said Nurul Atikah, who started playing petanque at the age of 14.
“It started playing petanque as a hobby as I followed friends in the evening to play but eventually got hooked onto the sport,” said the member of the Negri Sembilan gold medal winning squad in the last Sukma in Perlis. – Bernama