USM undergrads get top marks
By RONNIE OH
Photos by CHAN BOON KAI
UNIVERSITI Sains Malaysia (USM) undergraduates received a standing ovation for successfully organising the 38th annual Pesta Hoki international tournament in Penang which saw the participation of 330 teams including foreign teams.
The tournament saw the teams taking part in different categories right from Under-12 to the Veterans category.
The undergrads received not only the thumbs up from the participants but also the praise of Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Omar Osman.
“I must congratulate all my students for putting up such a great show although their aim of having the entire tournament played on grass was slightly blown off-course by heavy rains,” he said.
He said this just before the prize giving ceremony recently.
Dr Omar also said he was proud with the turnout of the foreign teams in the annual event.
“Teams from Taiwan were our latest inclusion and this reflected the popularity of our event on the international stage,” he added.
Dr Omar said the tournament’s growing popularity meant that USM should start attracting foreign teams, not just in numbers but also to lure more renowned foreign teams to spice up the annual challenge.
“This is what we hope to achieve in two years’ time when the tournament will be celebrating its 40th anniversary,” he added.
With the Malaysian Hockey Federation and the Penang State Hockey Association throwing in their support, the tournament saw the participation of teams from Sri Lanka, India, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore,
Despite the presence of foreign teams, the local teams took centre stage in all the categories.
Malacca’s MBMB’s (Majlis Bandaraya Malacca Bersejarah) ‘A’ team shot down MISC of Kuala Lumpur 5-2 to emerge as the Men’s Premier League champs and engraved their name on the prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
TLDM’s Dolphins ‘B’ also walked tall in the tournament to pick up the Raja Nazrin Shah Cup after they were crowned Classic Open champs, edging Bukit Jalil Sports School ‘A’ of Kuala Lumpur 2-1 in the finals.
Kuala Lumpur’s Army Ladies emerged as the toast of the Women’s challenge when they were crowned as the Classic Open champ.
Their 2-1 win over Perak’s Navy in the finals earned them the Governor’s Cup.
Penang’s Mutiara Boys from the Mutiara Impian Sports School were crowned the Boy’s Under-15 champs and SK Permai Indah won the honours in the Girls’ Under-12.
Mutiara Boys edged Johor’s SSTMI ‘Reds’ 1-0 while Permai Indah defeated Selangor’s Western Energy 2-1 in their respective finals.
Mutiara Impian’s Jamil Johari Ghazali and Permai Indah’s Nur Hidayah Fatihah Hashim were also adjudged as the Most Promising Players.
Mutiara Impian’s Mohd Adi Fazi Rahim was named as the Best Goalkeeper.