She’s 81, he’s 11: Malaysia chooses team for Asian Games

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If you’re good enough, you’re old enough – or young enough.

That seems to be Malaysia’s attitude in team selection for the Asian Games.

81-year-old Lee Hung Fong will represent her country in Jakarta as the oldest team member, and so will Ian Nuriman Amri.

He’s 11.

 

Lee will compete in contract bridge which is making its debut at the Asian Games, while Amri is a pre-teen skateboard prodigy.

Ian was filmed at his home skate park in Kuala Lumpur by Youtuber Brett Conti, check out his highlight reel skills here:

Generation Games

The pair are the oldest and youngest participants at the tournament.

But while there may be 70 years between them Lee is hoping everyone can enjoy the Games together:

I am very, very happy to be there because I am the oldest member of the team and I hope I can get through with my team-mates and hope we all enjoy the Games and have a good time. – Lee Hung Fong to the New Straits Times

Lee is a bridge teacher at the Royal Lake Club in Kuala Lumpur, the Royal Selangor Club and the Royal Selangor Golf Club.

Her great pride is bringing the next generation of bridge players to the table.

My achievement has been teaching and bringing up some good students. – Lee Hung Fong

 

Showing your hand

The test event for the contract bridge competition was held in Indonesia from November 28 to December 5 last year.

Indonesia and China showed strong hands, as did India.

It is a popular game played across the host country and Indonesia will hope to be among the medallists on home soil.

No clue what the game of Bridge is all about? This animated video will give you a quick idea:

 

Game Changers

The Asian Games is set to be one of the most expansive and inclusive tournaments ever.

Organisers and members of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Coordination Commission have agreed on the inclusion of 40 events in the programme.

32 current sports set to feature on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020 will be showcased at the Asian Games two years before.

All 28 permanent Olympic sports will appear on the programme along with baseball and softball, karate and sport climbing.

Eight non-Olympic sports have also been planned, including bowling, cricket, kabaddi and martial arts – consisting of pencat silat, tanding, wushu, kurash, ju jitsu and sambo, and sepak takraw.

Squash, bridge, jet ski and paragliding, listed as mechanical sports, complete the programme.

The tournament is also set to include an eSports demonstration event, the first of its kind.

eSports qualifiers for the Asian Games 2018
Tsubasa Aihara aka Reba (Left) plays against Katsuhiro Inoue aka Katsupeeya (R) during the eSports Asian Games Japan Qualifying on May 27, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. eSports will be demonstrated at the Asian Games for the first time. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

 

Bridging the gap

Lee Hung Fong will lead nine other bridge players to Jakarta-Palembang 2018.

While Ian will team up with three other skateboarders in Yasiru Amiru Dasyir Zainordin, Fatin Syahirah Roszizi and Christina Lai Grace.

Opening the doors to different disciplines and getting widely different generations involved may be one of the strongest legacies of the 18th Asian Games.

Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain

There may be seven generations between Malaysia’s oldest and youngest participants, but they’ll take part under one flag sharing one common goal.

The 18th Asian Games will run from August 18 to September 2, 2018.

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Author: Ken Browne
Ken Browne is a multimedia journalist for the Olympic Channel.