SEA Games champ shares secrets of success

Loh (fifth right, standing) with Ting (third left, seated) and from (left) Lee, Yoong, Ling and (from right) Chia, Ho pose for a group photograph with the athletes and coaches.

KUCHING: Wushu athletes have to work very hard, be committed, determined, disciplined and make sacrifices to achieve success.

Recent SEA Games double gold medalist Loh Jack Chang can attest to that and said young athletes should make full use of the excellent facilities provided by the Sarawak government.

Loh, 30, was one of the two Sarawak athletes who contributed to the three out of six gold medals that the national team won to be crowned the overall wushu champions, the other being Diana Bong Siong Lin who won the gold in women’s nanquan.

“You are very fortunate now as you enjoy better training facilities and I believe if you all work hard, you can achieve success one day and even surpass my achievements,” the Asian and world champion told young athletes as he shared his experience during a pot luck gathering organised by WFS at its premises at Tabuan Laru recently.

The occasion was to celebrate the achievement by Sarawak athletes at the 29th SEA Games, early celebration of the Mid Autumn Festival and fostering of ties between WFS officials, coaches, athletes and their parents.

Loh, who won the gold medals in the men’s taijijian and taijiquan, was back in Kuching for the second time after the SEA Games. He had attended the Sarawak Sports Awards 2015-2016 presentation ceremony last Saturday when he won the the Sportsman award.

“When I was in the state team, I had to travel by bus from Miri to Kuching and vice versa to attend centralised and intensive training to prepare for national championships and Sukma.

“Nowadays, outstation athletes are transferred to Kuching and Wushu Association of Sarawak (WFS), with the support from Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS), even arranged accommodation, school transfer and food for the selected potential athletes,” he said.

“I would like to thank WFS, the State government, all coaches and fellow trainees for without their support, I wouldn’t be what I am today.

“WFS have worked hard to secure better facilities and welfare for the athletes and we should repay their efforts by doing well at state, national and international competitions,” added Loh who also presented bouquets of carnation flowers to WFS deputy president James Ting, state elite coach Ling Ung Hee, ex-national coach (taijiquan, taijijian) and current Sarawak head coach Yoong Thong Foong in appreciation.

Meanwhile, Ting said WFS is the only body in the state recognised by the Wushu Federation Association of Malaysia, Olympic Council of Malaysia, the National Sports Council and MSNS and that wushu athletes have to be from WFS to be eligible to compete in Sukma, regional and world wushu competitions.

“Since wushu was introduced as an event in Sukma in 2000, we have always emerged as the overall champions except once when we finished in second place and three times in third place,” he said.

According to him, state wushu athletes need to continue to do well in national and international competitions so that the association can continue to receive support from the government in terms of funding, facilities and exposure stints.

While urging the junior and senior athletes to continue training hard, Ting, who is also WFS head coach and development and technical chairman, thanked the parents and schools for their unwavering support in making wushu one of the high performance and top sports in the state.

Among the guests at the gathering were MSNS coordinator for wushu Thomas Chia, Chung Hua Middle School No.3 principal Lee Chee Beng, ex-SJK Chung Hua No. 5 principal Ho It Ching, present and ex-WFS committee members.

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