PENANG: Sarawak are sending 20 athletes including nine girls to the 6th KPM (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia) national junior Wushu Championships at Han Chiang High School Indoor Stadium in Penang from Nov 18-20.
Of that number, only four, namely Elvis Bong Qian Zheng, Bong Yun Pin, Mandy Lim Xin Hui and Stephanie Ngu Cai Ern had competed at the 5th edition in 2013 while the rest are all new faces and come from Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
Team head coach Ling Ung Hee of the Centre of Excellence for Wushu in Kuching said the Wushu Federation of Sarawak is not setting any medal target.
“This competition is mainly for exposure for the majority of the athletes and we will also be watching the older ones very closely to be selected for Sukma 2018, 2020 and 2022,” she said.
“We are not setting any medal target so as not to give any unnecessary pressure to the athletes.
“Even the medallists from 2013, Elvis Bong and Mandy Lim as well as Stephanie Ngu and Yun Pin, will not be given any medal target as Elvis and Mandy will be competing against national athletes in Group A where 480 degree difficulty movements is required,” she added.
Ling pointed out that exposure for the athletes was the main priority as the majority of them are competing in a major tournament for the first time.
“Look at Stephanie, she didn’t do well in 2013 and she has learnt and improved a lot since. She won two silver medals in Sukma XVIII in Kuching in July this year,” said Ling.
She hoped the state exponents will display what they had learnt during training sessions which commenced two months ago.
“Their performance will still very much depend on their form on competition day. It is also vital that they do not get nervous and forget some of the steps when executing their routines.”
Elvis Bong will lead the boys’ challenge and team includes Bong Yun Pin, Alvis Fu Sian Wei, Edwin Wong Sing Siew, Edison Wong Sing Yen, Kee Jia Ke, Clement Lim Foo Qiang, Shaun Kiu, Vanness Lim Song Yi and the only non-Chinese in the team, Elvin Mackarther.
Mandy Lim will spearhead the girls’ challenge and her teammates are Mo Shin Qi, Ashley Chai Ern Nie, Fung Ai Lee, Lai Shi Yi, Adela Liew Ke Xin, Elizabeth Beckxia and Landy Liew Jia Yee.
Accompanying the team are MSNS coach Lau Hui Wei and team manager Tiong Yong Hee.
Teams like Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and host Penang who have national exponents are expected to do well in this championships while Sarawak are also expected to finish top six in the three-day national junior meet.