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Hosts among top contenders

8th December, 2017


SANDAKAN: Sandakan are sending the biggest contingent to the 8th Sabah Games, or Saga as it is popularly known, that officially begins on Saturday, although the opening ceremony will only be held a day later at the Sandakan Sports Complex.

The hosts will parade a strong contingent of 438 athletes, coaches and officials to the week-long multi-sports event, which they are hosting for the second time after 2009.

East coast side Tawau, are second with 343, followed by Keningau with 338 while reigning overall champions Kota Kinabalu are the fourth biggest contingent with 330, followed by Kota Belud with 310.

Districts like Papar, Ranau, Tuaran, Lahad Datu, Penampang and Sipitang are also coming with big contingents with over 200 athletes and officials each, while Beaufort, Tongod, Nabawan, Pitas, Kota Marudu, Tenom, Putatan, Kinabatangan and Tambunan will be represented by more than 100 athletes and officials each.

The remaining participating districts such as Semporna, Kudat, Kunak, Kuala Penyu, Telupid are coming with less than 100 athletes and officials each, with Beluran, the smallest contingent among them all with only 54 athletes and officials.

Altogether, there are a total of 5,060 athletes and team officials.

Meanwhile, the Games will gather pace today as athletes from football and sepaktakraw events will join the fray. Hockey got the ball rolling yesterday where a total of 15 teams, seven boys’ and eight girls’, took part in the competition.

Football event will be held at various fields where eight boys’ and eight girls’ teams will be gunning for top honours. All the girls’ matches will be played in the morning.

In a Group A tie, Tenom will take on Tawau at the MRSM field B while the other match will see Tuaran taking on Kota Marudu at the Politeknik field.

In the Group B, Tongod will face Sandakan at the MRSM field B while the Sipitang and Penampang tie will take place at the UMS field.

The four afternoon matches that involve the boys’ teams will see Lahad Datu take on Kota Kinabalu at the Politeknik field in a Group A battle while Nabawan will play against Sipitang at the UMS field.

In the Group B challenge, Pitas take on Kinabatangan at the SMK Merpati field and Sandakan play against Tuaran at the Sandakan Sports Complex field A. All matches will start at 3.30pm.

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