18th July, 2012
KUANTAN: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin was satisfied with Sabah’s overall performance and achievements in this just concluded 15th Sukma here on Monday night.
Even though Sabah did not achieve its original 31-gold medal target, lying in ninth position with a total of 18 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 52 bronze medals (90 medals), he was elated that Sabah at least showed its presence during the Games.
First, lifter, Frenceay Titus has made the Minister and every Sabahan proud when she was adjudged the Best Overall Girl Athlete (Sukma Sportswoman) in this year’s Sukma after having broken her own national record (72kg she recorded in the SEA Games), in the 58kg division with a new lift of 81kg in the snatch.
In the process she also broke the meet record (90kg) in the clean and jerk with a lift of 95kg after her three attempts to break the national records failed.
Pang said, Frenceay, an elite national lifter should be a role model to other athletes and with her feats, she received RM16,000 (RM5,000 for breaking the national, RM2,000 and Sukma record, RM2,000 for breaking two Sukma records, RM6,000 for her two gold medal feats and RM1,000 for her Best Overall Girl Athlete award.
“I feel very proud when her name was announced during the closing ceremony and for her to receive her award from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, while joining the loud applause and cheers from her fellow athletes inside the stadium,” he said.
“I also wish to congratulate all our golfers for making a clean sweep in the golf event, which I was told that the four gold medals (Boys’ and Girls’ individual and team), achievements were history of sorts because no other state has done that before since the inception of Sukma.”
“Furthermore, our footballers too have made history by bagging the elusive gold medal, the first ever from the Sukma and to all these gold medallists and for those who made history and in the process broke a few records, including archer Adam Wong, I congratulate them all.”
He said, overall, in calculation, Sabah garnered a total of 90 medals, which is approximately 30 per cent, and he believes that with grassroots involvement and systematic long-term training programmes, these silver and bronze medallists will be ready for the next Sukma in Perlis 2014.
Based on the achievements coming from this Sukma, there is a lot to be done in terms of nurturing, proper training, systematic grooming and adopting training methods with the trend of high technology era in the sporting scenario in the world.
“We have seen that my Ministry agreed to send some of our athletes for overseas training stints in their preparations for the Sukma where I think there have been some slight improvements in their overall performances,” he said.
“This trend will continue and I assure them that those who deserve such treatment must show good track records and genuine project planning towards bringing our athletes to greater heights more towards quality rather than quantity not like a number of our disciplines in this year’s Sukma.”
“We brought around 300 athletes this time around and I am not against it, but I saw that our athletes need to be properly guided and follow modern training syllabus, while coaches too must change their old fashioned training methods in order for their chargers to improve and be on par with the rest in the country.”
“However, I always believe that those who failed to produce gold medals, athletes in fact have shown good anticipation and commitment to contribute medals in their respective events, which means, they have the qualities to go far through modern guidance from our coaches in order for Sabah to become the powerhouse in sports.”
Pang added, considering the number of silver and bronze medals contributed by the athletes, he thinks they can become future champions if coaches adopt the modern know-how in their coaching programmes and do away with their old fashioned methods as they will lack behind in this modern era.
For example track and field athletes have always been one of Sabah’s gold medal contributors but this year, they failed and coaches and sports officials must crack their heads now and resume constructive and positive long-term planning by taking criticism as a stride.
His conclusive call to all was for sports associations officials and coaches themselves to learn to accept each others’ positive ideas because no one can think that he or she calls the shots or being indispensable, which will not only “kill” the sport but also “kill” athletes’ interest as a whole.