Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Malaysian all-stars take French Open

Published on September 12, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

What a tournament the 11 th French Open turned out to be! After a decade of building up the event, inviting the cream of the European crop plus the occasional high-profile guests from further afield, this year the French Sepaktakraw Association really pulled out all the stops, which makes it a competition fit to elegance any sepaktakraw stadium around the world.

Along with top club groups from France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, president Patrick Laemmel great team took advantage of their existence at this year’s King’s Cup within Thailand to invite as many international teams as they could, and a lot responded in the affirmative.

Imagine walking in to a gymnasium in Strasbourg, France to see Ahmad Aizat training a young Belgian lad in the art of keeping the ball alive, while Syahir Rosdi and Khairul Zaman prepared for a match and Hanafiah Dolah played with local kids! This was precisely the spectacle on offer at the Open de France, with Malaysia sending a team of world-beaters (and ISS 2014/15 Melaka-winners! ) half-way around the globe to take part.

The Malays duly won the main last, defeating an Indian team which featured Sandeep Kumar and Jiteshor Sharma. Hundreds were in attendance for that match, and indeed for Saturday’s semi-finals, where Iran (fielding a team from new coach Mohamed Moradi’s home province of Markazi) and China (complete with exciting and incredibly tall tekong Zhang Ru Hao).

School-kids from your surrounding area flocked in within the Friday, as did the local mayor, and they watched the start of the “tournament within the tournament”, which saw the international guests from China, Serbia, India, Malaysia, Thailand and The japanese playing off amongst themselves to give their European hosts a chance! And yes, Thailand were again conquered in international competition, but it was mainly because they fielded a group of coaches! The likes of Veeras and Kamphol certainly looked their age around, but what they lacked in motion, they made up for in setting!

Weekend saw the Malaysia – India final as the “international” showcase which the former won 2-0, with the “European” doubles and regu finals either side. And even then, the Malaysians got in on the act, along with regular European participants Malaysian Air carriers (featuring Ahmad Aizat) defeating Germany’s top team from Elmshorn within three tight sets in the “European” regu. In the doubles, there was something for the home crowd to brighten about when Louis Marchadier and Mathieu Fleutret of Strasbourg defeat MAS in the final, again by two sets to one, staving away from a comeback from the Malaysians.

The event was also attended by ISTAF secretary general Dato Abdul Halim Kader, who was thrilled to find the potential of a well-run and well-attended tournament in the heart of European countries. New Asia Sports Ventures Common Manger Nishant Sehgal was also available to take in what the “old continent” provides the future of the sport, while there was plenty of local media interest as well.

All of the various guests from far-flung corners of the sepaktakraw world enjoyed the great hospitality of their France hosts, and this tournament will certainly possess helped to establish FESTA (the European Sepaktakraw Federation, with whom Dato Halim signed a memorandum of understanding prior to the tournament) on the map.

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What a tournament the 11 th French Open up turned out to be! After a decade of building in the event, inviting the cream from the European crop plus the occasional high-profile guests from further afield, this year the French Sepaktakraw Association really pulled out all the stops, making it a competitors fit to grace any sepaktakraw stadium around the world.

Together with top club teams from Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, leader Patrick Laemmel and his team required advantage of their presence at this year’s King’s Cup in Thailand in order to invite as many international teams because they could, and plenty responded within the affirmative.

Imagine walking into a gymnasium within Strasbourg, France to see Ahmad Aizat training a young Belgian lad within the art of keeping the basketball alive, while Syahir Rosdi and Khairul Zaman prepared for a match and Hanafiah Dolah played with nearby kids! This was exactly the spectacle on offer at the Open de France, along with Malaysia sending a team of world-beaters (and ISS 2014/15 Melaka-winners! ) half-way across the world to take part.

The Malays duly won the main final, defeating a good Indian team which featured Sandeep Kumar and Jiteshor Sharma. Hundreds were in attendance for that match, and indeed for Saturday’s semi-finals, exactly where Iran (fielding a team from new coach Mohamed Moradi’s house province of Markazi) and China and taiwan (complete with exciting and incredibly tall tekong Zhang Ru Hao).

School-kids from the surrounding region flocked in on the Friday, since did the local mayor, and they watched the start of the “tournament within the tournament”, which saw the international visitors from China, Iran, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan playing away from amongst themselves to give their European hosts a chance! And yes, Asia were again defeated in international competition, but this was mainly because they fielded a team of coaches! The likes of Veeras and Kamphol certainly looked their age out there, but what they lacked in movement, they comprised for in positioning!

Sunday saw the Malaysia – India final as the “international” showcase which the former earned 2-0, with the “European” doubles and regu finals either side. As well as then, the Malaysians got within on the act, with regular European participants Malaysian Airlines (featuring Ahmad Aizat) defeating Germany’s top group from Elmshorn in three limited sets in the “European” regu. In the doubles, there was something for the house crowd to cheer about when Louis Marchadier and Mathieu Fleutret of Strasbourg defeat MAS within the final, again by two sets to one, staving off a comeback from the Malaysians.

The big event was also attended by ISTAF secretary general Dato Abdul Halim Kader, who was thrilled to see the potential of a well-run and well-attended tournament within the heart of Europe. New Asia Sports Ventures General Manger Nishant Sehgal was also on hand to take in the actual “old continent” has to offer the future of the game, while there was plenty of local media interest as well.

All of the various guests from far-flung sides of the sepaktakraw globe enjoyed the great hospitality of their French hosts, and this tournament will certainly have helped to establish FESTA (the European Sepaktakraw Federation, with whom Dato Halim agreed upon a memorandum of understanding before the tournament) on the map.

This entrance passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ with fivefilters. org/content-only/faq. php#publishers.

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