Monday, March 18

Tall order for our para athletes


KUCHING: Sarawak’s para athletes will be all out to defend their title in the Malaysian Paralympic Championship starting from Nov 21 to 26 in Melaka.

GOING FOR NINTH TITLE: The state paralympic team posing with Datuk Lee Kim Shin after handing the state colours to CDM, Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi together with other officials. The team will fly off to Melaka this Friday.

With a strong contingent of 136 athletes and 52 officials to Melaka, the athletes hope to level or better their medal haul of 126 gold, 61 silver and 40 bronze medals in this biennial games.

Currently in Kuala Lumpur, Zamry Sapiee who was crowned the best male athlete in the last edition after hauling a total of five gold medals from the By Simon Ingka Crown & Jeremy Veno breaststroke (50m), butterfly (50m) freestyle (50m and 100m), backstroke (100m) events

He also made the state proud by recording the new Asian record in the 50m breaststroke by clocking a time of 49.56s erasing the old record of 49.81s.

In the 100m freestyle event, Zamry again showed his prowess by clocking a time of 1:2:62seconds to shatter the Para-Asian games record (formally known as Fespic games) of 1:23:50seconds.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation (KPSU) (Sport), Datuk Lee Kim Shin assured that the state paralympic athletes would be given an equal attention in sports development.

He added that the State government is very supportive of giving proper training and motivation to the people with a different abilities (OKUOrang Kelainan Upaya) as that they can perform equally significant feat like the normal athletes.

He added that KPSU, Youths and Sports Department as well as the state welfare department will go all out to identify talents statewide for the purpose of development and preparing them for future Para-games.

On the incentive part, Lee said the ministry will study the matter thoroughly and will propose an increment to the current RM1,000 (gold medal) from the state welfare department.

He hoped the selected athletes to the games would show their commitment to strive for the ninth championships title in the row and to retain Sarawak as the Paralympic sports powerhouse.

Pantai Damai State Assemblyman, Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi will be the Chef De Mission and lead the team to Melaka this Friday.

Among those present were Youths and Sports Department director, Salihin Kachon, the State Welfare department director, Kendy Edward and other dignitaries.