22nd June, 2012
GO FOR GOLD … Pang with the golfers, coaches, George, Rahman, Ryan and other officials yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin has high hopes that the state golfers will achieve their two-gold medal target, thus enabling Sabah’s overall target of 31 gold medals achievable in this coming 15th Sukma in Pahang.
He believes with sheer dedication and commitment and based on the golfers’ track records, they are capable of achieving the two-gold medal target, which should give Sabah an edge to meet its overall target this year.
“I have seen our golfers’ qualities since I took office, and this year will be my third Sukma, where they have the potential to go all out and get the two gold medals,” he said, this during a meeting with the golfers at the Sutera Harbour Marina yesterday.
“I saw how well they played at the last Sukma in Melaka, but only luck or maybe lack of concentration among the players, and losing out in the final stages, saw them settling for the two silver and one bronze medal.”
Pang called on the golfers to take pride in donning Sabah’s colours in the Sukma and wants them to maintain a very high fighting spirit and being mentally prepared for the showdown and give their best shot on the Royal Pahang Golf Club course in Pekan on July 12.
He reiterated his earlier call for all State athletes to take care of their diet, by avoiding contaminated food to avoid any case of food poisoning as well as getting proper medical advice and only consuming prescribed medicines from qualified doctors.
This is to avoid any untoward incident like athletes getting sick due to food poisoning and testing positive for scheduled drugs from any herbal or traditional medicines.
“If these things happen, it will be a major blow to our chances of getting the gold medals we are yearning for, especially, if our gold medal potentials got sick or tested positive for drugs, as this happened to us sometime ago,” he said.
He said, their decision to increase the cash incentive from RM2,000 to RM3,000 for each gold medallist, will boost athletes’ morale and determination to propel all out to win gold.
Meanwhile, Sabah Golf Team Manager Ronnie Pan told the minister that he is banking on their Malaysian ladies amateur open champion Aretha Pan, who was also the champion in this year’s Singapore Queen Sirikit championship for the individual gold medal.
Aretha, who is also due to don national colours in the World Amateur Championship in Turkey in September, has been showing promising consistency of late and her final assignment will be this coming Sutera Harbour Amateur Open.
He expects the other targeted gold medal to come from the Ladies team category, where Aretha will spearhead the team along with promising youngsters – national player Vivian Chin, Diana Tham and Hilferah Tan.
All the golfers as well as the boys, Albright Chong, Fazley Ahmad Chua, Solomon Emilio and Leduin Jordon Mobijohn have tested the long but flat Royal Pahang Golf Club course and they look comfortable enough.
He foresees the wind factor as the only setback, because the course is right by the beach, and coach Toshi Wasa has advised the players to play with the wind during competition.
Ronnie is also very optimistic that his boys could spring a few surprises based on their low scores in recent amateur opens, and if they can maintain their consistency and play as a team, then they might stand a good chance of at least a gold medal.
Present during the meeting were Sabah Golf Association President George Bandusena, Sabah Sports Council Director Rahman Laman, Sutera Harbour’s Ryan Werner and coach Toshi Wasa and Rokia Daud.