Shazrin’s one tough cookie
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The harder the conditions the better the going for Nur Shazrin Latif.
At least that’s how Malaysia’s first female Olympic sailor feels.
This tough as nails 18-year-old has seen her star rise since qualifying for the Rio Olympics on merit.
She did so by winning the Laser Radial silver at the Asian Championships in Abu Dhabi in March.
That performance gained an invite to her second Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, where the world’s top 20 sailors.
She was Malaysia’s best placed finisher (15th place).
Shazrin’s next big assignment will be the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games next year but she is not letting success get to her head.
“My good performances don’t mean I get automatic spot in the SEA Games squad,” said Shazrin.
“We have selections in February and by March the names have to be submitted and finalised.”
Shazrin contributed to Malaysia’s seven-gold medal haul at the Singapore SEA Games last year by winning the Under-19 Laser Radial gold.
This time she will compete in the open category.
“It won’t be easy despite us having home advantage,” said Shazrin.
“There are rumours some sailors from Singapore and Thailand might be retiring, which leaves the race wide open.
“But until I see the final list of participants, I can only say I’m cautiously optimistic of a medal.”
The sailing team is based in Langkawi where the weather conditions are seasonal.
The lack of harsh conditions year round hampers the team’s progress and they have to go overseas for expensive training stints.
“It’s not cheap to train abroad but in sailing, preparation is key,” said the Johor native.
The team has a target of five gold medals next year — in the men’s and women’s Laser Radial, men’s Laser Standard, men’s team racing Laser Standard and women’s team racing Laser Radial.