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 Sports

Compete with pride!

4th September, 2018

By FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah athletes have been reminded to compete with a positive mindset when they take part in the 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak from September 14-22.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said it is important for them to have such mentality to enter competitions in order to stand a better chance to do well.

Speaking at the handing over of the State flag ceremony to the State contingent held in Likas here yesterday, Shafie also wants the athletes to show their mental strength and their desire to excel.

“We must not feel inferior just because our opponents look physically stronger. As long as we have the right mindset, self-confidence in our life and use our strength to our advantage, we will excel not only in Sukma but also at other national and international level competitions,” said Shafie.

When approached by the reporters later, he reminded the State athletes not to be motivated by sports incentives in their quest for glory in the Games.

Instead, he added, the athletes must give their utmost best to bring glory to Sabah as well as for the good of their career.

“I don’t want to touch on incentives because what is important is for them to carry the State challenge and not just participate for the sake of just being in Sukma or eyeing rewards for their efforts. We have to change such thinking …athletes must be proud when selected and do their best to bring glory to Sabah,” he added.

Meanwhile, it will be a record-making mission for the State contingent to the country’s biggest multi-sports event. They have set a whopping 40-gold medal target, as announced by Youth and Sports Minister Frankie Poon Ming Fung at the same function.

This is something that they have never achieved since their participation in the Games since 1986.

But Poon believes that they are capable of achieving the target based on their preparations, including applying sports science and overseas exposure in their build-up to the Games.

“We have evaluated the athletes and observed them. Their performance has been good and they are really doing well in their practice. We use a lot of sports science (in our preparations) and you will be surprised with our boys and girls. I will not say much (now) but time will tell…we’ll do our best,” he said.

Sabah will be sending its biggest contingent ever to the Games with a total number of 424 athletes comprising 235 male and 189 female athletes.

They will be led by Chef-de-Mission Arunarnsin Taib, who is also the Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports. They will compete in 23 sports of which 14 are compulsory sports and the rest elective sports.

The sports are aquatics (diving and swimming), badminton, cycling, men’s football (including men’s and women’s futsal), lawn bowls, artistic gymnastics, hockey, karate, archery, athletics, pencak silat, sailing, squash, tenpin bowling, weightlifting, golf, judo, muaythai, petanque, rugby, sepak takraw, taekwondo and boxing.

Sabah will also take part in tennis but it falls under the sports exhibition category where the medals will not be included in the Sukma medal tally.

For the record, Sabah finished seventh overall in the Sarawak Sukma 2016 with 25 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals.

Sabah’s best ever medal haul came in 2002 when the State hosted the biennial games with 28 gold, 38 silver and 42 bronze medals while their best ever showing as non-hosts was in Kedah Sukma 2006 with 26 gold, 26 silver and 29 bronze medals.

The Perak Sukma is offering a total of 427 gold, 427 silver and 546 bronze medals from the 29 sports being competed.

   
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