NAY PYI TAW (30 OCTOBER 2014): The national sepaktakraw team overcame a case of the nerves to beat Japan 21-10, 21-16 in their ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 opening match today.
At one point 4-2 behind in the first set, tekong Syahir Rosdi, feeder Syazreenqamar Salehan and striker Khairol Zaman Hamir Akhbar got their act together to level the score and wrap proceedings up in 15 minutes. They started well in the second set, racing to a 10-1 lead and maintaining their lead throughout to finish the match in 16 minutes.
“The boys were nervous and finding their feet in the first set,” said national coach Najib Iman at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium here. “Although they were not playing at full strength, I did not want to apply any pressure on them but instead let them enjoy themselves as matches will get tougher from here onwards.”
Malaysia will play Singapore and Korea next to wrap up their Group A fixtures in the tournament, which showcases eight of the world’s best men’s teams and six of the women’s and is being held in Myanmar for the first time.
The Malaysian women’s team will start their tournament tomorrow against Indonesia in Group A. In today’s opening Group B match, hosts Myanmar easily defeated Japan 21-8, 21-7 in 25 minutes
ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR, which ends November 2, kicks-off the 2014/15 season. Three other legs are scheduled to be played in South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The tournament is jointly organised by the International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) and Asia Sports Ventures (ASV), ISTAF’s exclusive global commercial and developmental partner. It is being held with the support of host partners the Myanmar Ministry of Sports and the Myanmar Sepaktakraw Federation (MSTAF).
ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 is televised on ASTRO Arena, ASTRO SuperSports, ASTRO SuperSports HD and RTM. A total of 12 hours of live coverage will be aired during the last three days of the tournament.
The tournament is also televised to over 70 countries. For the very first time, fans can also catch all four days of tournament action live on www.sepaktakraw.org.
The ISTAF SuperSeries is the first and only elite platform for regular sepaktakraw competition at the highest level. Alongside the ISTAF World Cup, the internationally-recognised ISTAF SuperSeries is the only sepaktakraw tournament acknowledged by ISTAF and plays a key role in deciding the official ISTAF World Rankings.
* FIRST DAY RESULTS (MEN)
Group A: Malaysia bt Japan 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) Singapore bt Japan 2-0 (22-20, 21-17);
Group B: Myanmar bt China 2-0 (21-8, 21-10); Indonesia bt China 2-0 (21-11, 21-6)
FIRST DAY RESULTS (WOMEN)
Group B: Myanmar bt Japan 2-0 (21-8, 21-7)
* At Press time
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