During the times of the Malacca Sultanate, before football arrived on the shores of Malacca, before Nintendos and Play stations were invented, 2 kids sat by the seaside, clad in their baju Melayu complete with the tanjak, wondering what they should be doing.

"Dude, i'm stumped! Wish we could play some game or something. There's nothing here in Malacca. Owh bummer."

"Yea. It's like, ships passing everyday, i learn few steps of silat, and we're like here and there's nothing to do."

A 3rd guy entered the convesation.

"Hey fellas! Let's play sepak raga!"

In unison they asked, "what's that?!".

Thus, the birth of sepak raga. Which later evolved into a game called sepak takraw. Famous in South East Asia especially in Thailand and Malaysia.

Of course, if you flip through the pages of Sulalatus Salatin, you can't find the conversation above, but there's a mentioning of the existence of the game as early as the 15th century. A story of Raja Muhammad (son of Sultan Mansur Shah), whose tanjak (Malay traditional headweare) fell off his head while playing Sepak Raga. In theory, the game originated a bit later in Thailand circa 18-17th century, depicted in murals of a Buddhist temple there.

Sepak raga is a recreational game played in circles, trying to prevent the ball, woven from rattan from falling down to the ground.

Sepak takraw is a competitive version of the game. It basically applies the same rules as in badminton, except there's no racket and you're using a rattan ball instead. You can practically use any part of the body except the hands and your private parts. Well, you CAN actually use your private parts but it will be quite painful.

There are 2 teams and each team is allowed only 3 touches after receiving the kick off from the opposing team. There are 3 members of each team consisting of a tekong (the one who stands in the middle), the feeder (the one who sets up the ball for the killer) and the killer (one who tries to get points for the team by means of extravagant moves such as the scissors kick).

Volgograd State Medical University are the defending champions of the annual Malaysian inter-varsity games in Russian. And the home crowd are hoping for the best this time around. Mohd. Firdauz, part of the gold medal winning team in Nizhny games is aiming for the best.

"With the home crowd backing, it will give added pressure and expectations to us. But we thrive on pressure. Defending the crown is hard, since everyone wants to beat the champions. "

He added, " We will go into the tournament respecting each team and we try our best to please the Volgo crowd."

Ahmad Zakiran, team captain, echoed Firdauz's sentiments.

"Everyone has equal chances to win. There are no favourites. We try not to think of our previous achievements and focus on this tournament."

Let's hope for the best from our team.

Thirst for some sepak takraw action? Catch it at the Zal no. 2 at the Manesh Sports Complex in the upcoming Volgames '09. Entrance is free (duhhh).

PS : Volgames is coming up from the 24-26th April . I will be writing some sports articles up to the games. Maybe even after it.

8 comments:

Kamal said...

germans play sepak takraw too, you know! the national team coach is a malaysian. what a small world.

QifA said...

wohoo..his earnings must be high. in Euros!

Rush said...

pergh ilmiah gila artikel ang afiq..mmg terbaek ah..ilmiah tapi ranggi..hermm..confused!

13 said...

pergh..dah macam berita sukan dah..haha

QifA said...

ilmiah la sangat rush..haha.

ya..nanti boleh aku tanya pasal volley kat kau pi.hoho

izyan said...

x saba aku nk menyaksikan live lipatan maut dr ko afiq muehehe

QifA said...

kau bz men 5 game kan.sportswoman la katakan. aku akan record aksi lipatan aku dan letak kat youtube buat tatapan umum.

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