SIBU: State secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani has raised the hope that Sibu could one day produce national badminton champions with the completion of state-of-the-art facilities here.
He told a press conference yesterday that the courts at the newly completed Sibu Indoor Stadium have been endorsed and certified by Badminton Association of Malaysia to be used for the upcoming 18th Sukma.
Work on the RM39 million stadium was completed on April 2.
It has a seating capacity of 4,250 and the courts could also be converted into a basketball or volleyball court.
“Not just for this Sukma, but maybe the next Sukma or other national games. With this kind of badminton courts, Sibu people should be able to produce future national champions – future Lee Chong Wei.
“Sometimes, because of the Sarawakian spirit, you can actually surprise us and bring the game to a higher level,” he said after the soft opening of the stadium.
Sibu will host the badminton and volleyball competitions in the upcoming Sukma.
Sarawak contingent chef-de-mission Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has targeted a tally of 72 gold medals for the state contingent at the national games.
“We should be getting gold for volleyball; I would be very disappointed if we don’t deliver gold. And I am hoping badminton to spring some surprises though the game is not our powerhouse, but then, we being the host, with the home support, miracles can happen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Morshidi revealed that 468 athletes would be in Sibu and they would be housed at Kingwood Hotel.
Miri will host karate, sepak takraw and sailing while Kuching/Samarahan will host the remaining 19 other sports.
“We are expecting full house for the (Sukma) opening event. Because the venues of the games are scattered, I hope the locals could support the event. All of us are Sarawak team, so come and support our team,” he added.
Also present at the press conference was Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee.