The great expectations
by Ting Tieng Hee, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on July 1, 2012, Sunday
KUCHING: State athletes were yesterday urged to give their very best to win gold medals and regain past glory by emerging victorious in the coming Sukma XV in Kuantan, Pahang from July 7 to 16.
Making the call was deputy chef-de-mission Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who hoped that with new leaders, team managers and coaches, Sarawak can become overall champions again.
“Victory has been very elusive to us for the past few Sukma and we were only successful in the early years. We hope that Sarawak can regain glory this year,” Karim said during the opening of the Sarawak Contingent camp at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak badminton hall yesterday.
He was representing chef-de-mission Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is the Assistant Minister of Sports and Assistant Minister of Communications.
Karim, who is the Assistant Minister of Housing cum Assistant Minister of Social Development (Youth Development) also stressed on the importance of the roles of the team managers and coaches to monitor their athletes closely.
“We want the athletes to be in tip-top condition when they go into the battleground to win glory for us and we do not want them to have any problems be it personal, family or health because this will affect their performance drastically at the Games,” he added.
Karim said he will not condone any indiscipline in the Sarawak camp and urged the members of the state contingent to protect the image of the state while in Pahang or in Unimas.
The Asajaya assemblyman also advised the athletes to look after themselves while in Pahang, especially not to become dehydrated during the current hot weather and not to eat spicy food.
For the first-timers, he told them not to worry too much because the whole state is behind them in their mission to win glory for Sarawak.
“Do not be scared of your opponents or be nervous during the competition. Just be yourself, look after your health, food and drinks,” said Karim.
“I hope that all of you will become heroes of Sarawak by doing well and that one day you will also become the heroes of Malaysia as well,” he added.
Also present at the event were Sarawak State Sports Council director Francis Nyurang Ding and his deputy Frederick Tan, deputies chef-de-mission Affandi Keli, Snowdan Lawan and assistants chef-de-mission Sunny Si, Abang Affandi Abang Anuar, Datin Mary Sadiah Zainuddin, Gerald Rentap and Helena Wee.
Sarawak will be sending a total of 524 athletes and officials to participate in 22 out of 24 events.
About one third of the athletes are now in Semenanjung Malaysia either on training stints or exposure competitions while a few are overseas taking part in international tournaments.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak Contingent Camp in Unimas will commence today until July 4.
During this period, the state’s athletes will be undergoing light training and attend motivational talks and watch video clips.
They will depart to Pahang in batches and the karate team were the first to leave yesterday and they will be out to capture the 16 gold medals on offer.
Men’s and women’s hockey as well as taekwondo events will commence on July 3, followed by cycling and football on July 4.
A total of 1,207 medals including 377 golds, 377 silvers and 453 bronzes are up for grabs in the two-week long games.
Aquatics (swimming and diving) offers the most golds with 48, followed by athletics (45), weightlifting (32), shooting (26), pencak silat (25) and archery (24).