Art­ful dodgers

Teams make the coun­try malaysian dodge­ball proud on the world stage.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE - By CHRIS­TINE CHEAH allther­age@thes­

DODGE­BALL may have only made its pres­ence known in Malaysia over five years ago but the sport has al­ready grown strong enough to pro­duce play­ers good enough to com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Re­cently, the na­tional dodge­ball men’s and women’s teams did the coun­try proud at the World Dodge­ball In­vi­ta­tion­als held in Queenstown, New Zealand. They com­peted against five other coun­tries – Canada, US, Hong Kong PRC, New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

As rel­a­tive new­com­ers in the scene, the Malaysian play­ers didn’t fare too badly – the men’s team placed third and the women placed fourth in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories.

Malaysian As­so­ci­a­tion of Dodge­ball (MAD) sec­re­tary Yeo Wai Tat said play­ers from the other coun­tries spoke of their amaze­ment at the Malaysians’ im­prove­ment in the game, con­sid­er­ing they are still new kids on the block.

“When I look at the other in­ter­na­tional teams play, they seem to be more ag­gres­sive in at­tack­ing and in their dodg­ing tech­niques as well,” Yeo said.

He be­lieves the Malaysian teams have a bit of catch­ing up to do but for a sport that was barely recog­nised a few years ago, the play­ers have come quite far.

“I be­lieve that this is a fun sport and any­one can pick it up. It is great to see dodge­ball go­ing strong but I hope that more there will be more plat­forms for play­ers to show­case their tal­ents. Hope­fully, it will get more peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing,” he said.

Cur­rently, there are sev­eral dodge­ball com­pe­ti­tion held an­nu­ally in Malaysia – from col­lege in­vi­ta­tion­als to the Na­tional Dodge­ball Cham­pi­onships. At the na­tional cham­pi­onships, teams from var­i­ous states bat­tle to be crowned the na­tional cham­pion and con­se­quently rep­re­sent the coun­try at the an­nual World Dodge­ball In­vi­ta­tion­als.

This year, the guys from the UCSI Devil Dukes and the girls from the Tay­lor’s Univer­sity Storm topped their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories to rep­re­sent the coun­try.

Devil Dukes cap­tain Ng Chee Keong said the team didn’t ex­pect to fin­ish third in Queenstown as they had just suf­fered a heavy de­feat to New Zealand in a friendly just prior to the com­pe­ti­tion.

The trash­ing proved to be a bless­ing in dis­guise as it gave the Devil Dukes an idea of what to ex­pect at the in­vi­ta­tion­als, where they man­aged to beat the New Zealand team, who ended up in fourth place.

For Storm, the first-ever na­tional champions in Malaysia, the World Dodge­ball In­vi­ta­tion­als was their first in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, and the most pres­ti­gious as well.

“We were al­ready ner­vous enough com­pet­ing at the na­tional cham­pi­onships!” said Storm cap­tain Chong Hwei Xian, 21, when asked about the at­mos­phere within the team in Queenstown.

For­tu­nately, the girls were able to put their nerves aside to put in a se­ries of strong per­for­mances.

“I think we did well. We only lost by a point to Hong Kong,” said

Storm were

joined at the World dodge­ball In­vi­ta­tion­als

by the ucSI devil dukes men’s team,

who won the Na­tional dodge­ball cham­pi­onsh

ips in malaysia.

dodge­ball isn’t just dodg­ing. The Storm train reg­u­larly to im­prove their tac­tics and tech­nique.

malaysian dodge­ball as­so­ci­a­tion (mad) se­cre­atry yeo Wai Tat is still ac­tively play­ing dodge­ball and helps the as­so­ci­a­tion pro­mote the sport in malaysia.

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