Sunday, 3 July 2016

Challenge to state athletes to go for 4th Sukma crown

KUCHING: It has been a 22-year wait. Sarawak have been Sukma overall champions three times in 1990, 1992 and 1994.

State contingent chef-de-mission Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has taken up the challenge to strive for another Sukma championship title.

“This year, our goal is to get a total of 72 gold medals, as well as to become the overall champion for Sukma 2016. Hopefully it will be a great year for us as we hope to achieve the coveted title for the fourth time since its establishment in 1986,” he said yesterday.

Abdul Karim, who is also the Youth and Sports Assistant Minister, added that the state government has given full support to athletes in preparation for the national games.

The support included providing good coaches to the various sports, and training and exposure opportunities, both locally and overseas, for the athletes.

“We are very well prepared for Sukma Games 2016,” he stressed.

He also identified wushu, taekwondo, silat, petanque, volleyball and cycling among the sports that have emerged as potential major medal contributors this year.

“We have a lot of new sports venues here including the Sarawak Aquatics Centre in Petra Jaya.

“The state government had spent approximately RM400 million to improve the sports infrastructures here, the biggest budget for Sukma so far. Thus, we do hope that it will really help us to achieve our ultimate target to become the overall champion.

“I do believe that we can achieve the goal as we have been waiting for so long for this,” he added.

Sarawak Sukma 2016 will see competition in 24 sports namely aquatics (diving and swimming), archery, athletics, badminton, bowling, boxing, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, karate, lawn bowls, petanque, sepak takraw, shooting, pencak silat, squash, sailing, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, wushu and weightlifting.

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