World Wushu Championship kicks off in Malaysia

ALL eyes will be on Malaysia for the next five days starting Friday, as a record 1,500 martial artists from 80 countries will be battling it out for 48 gold medals contested at the World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

The 12th edition of the biennial meet, themed ‘Wushu for All’, is the biggest championships to date.

The five-day tournament will see a total of 48 events of three disciplines, namely taolu (barehands and weapons), sanshou (Chinese boxing) and duilian(dual event).

Malaysia are no strangers to hosting this championship, with the second edition held in Kota Kinabalu in 1993 as well as the maiden World Youth Wushu Championships in 2006.

The question is how well will our exponents fare, knowing the expectations are high on them to deliver in front of the home crowd.

Malaysia have named a strong line-up of 14 exponents including Lee Yang, Loh Jack Chang, Ho Mun Hua, Ng Say Yoke, Yeap Wai Kin, Ng Shin Yii, Diana Bong Siong Lin, Tai Cheau Xuen, Chai Fong Wei, Phoon Eyin, Tan Jia Guan, Mohd Meeraj Omar, Lee Wei Loong and Tang Pei Pin.

Eight of the 14 have stood on the podium before.

Now they will be aiming to surpass their best ever achievement of four gold medals at the 2005 edition in Vietnam.

Yoong Thong Foong is confident with his charges’ chances of bagging several gold medals.

“We hope to win a few gold medals as favourites China can only enter for 10 of the 28 taolu events,” he said. This is to give other countries a chance to fight for the gold medals.

“I think we stand a chance in the men’s and women’s taijijian, nanquan, daoshu, gunshu and jianshu.”

World Cup runner-up Meeraj, who idolised Bruce Lee, will be out to make a breakthrough by becoming the first Malaysian sanshou world champion.

The 80 participating countries:

Afghanistan, Armenia, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Gabon, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Maldives, MALAYSIA. Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia.