Sunday August 19, 2012
Raya to relish for Jamaliah
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: National karate exponent Jamaliah Jamaluddin is relishing the chance to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with her family in her hometown of Sungkai, Perak, as it is a welcome break from her hectic training schedule.
With the World Senior Championships coming up in November, Jamaliah’s Hari Raya plans had to take a back seat to her gruelling training programme under the new elite kumite coach, Latvian Andris Vasiljevs.
“I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even have time to go shopping. I managed to buy a ready-made baju kurung, making sure I stuck to my family’s colour theme of dark blue for this Raya.
“Not only are all our attires dark blue, our hall and kitchen have been painted in various shades of blue too,” said Jamaliah.
The 28-year-old is looking forward to the slap-up meals prepared by her mother although there won’t be any of her favourite Raya cookies, “Almond London” – the whole almond chocolate coated sweet treat.
“Our kitchen was being renovated and, with all the work being done, my mother couldn’t make any cookies. But she has promised to cook the usual dishes like nasi briyani, kurma and mutton rendang.
“I’m also eager to taste her fabulous butter cake. It’s an old family recipe that belonged to my grandmother,” said Jamaliah.
However, the two-time SEA Games gold medallist and 2010 Asian Games silver medallist has no plans to surrender to her inner Martha Stewart any time soon, saying the dojo, rather than the kitchen, was her preferred domain.
Being the eldest and only daughter, Jamaliah pointed out that, in her family, it is the boys that do all the work.
“My brothers are more inclined to help my mother with the cooking and baking. I’m the mischievous one that likes to disturb them,” she quipped.
Despite being thankful for the brief respite, Jamaliah is keen to get back to her training regime as she has a point to prove.
Her disappointment at not winning a medal at last year’s SEA Games in Indonesia has only spurred her on to train harder.
“Losing in the first round in Jakarta still hurts. I’m determined to bounce back and improving my stamina and endurance will enhance my performance,” she said.
“It has definitely been tough and a lot more physically demanding than before. We trained as usual during the fasting month. There was no special treatment. But as an athlete, you have to follow the coach’s instructions.”
The world No.10 is now focused on improving her physical conditioning ahead of the world meet in Paris from Nov 21-15. She also intends to be in medal contention at next year’s SEA Games in Myanmar.