Ting Siew Nguong

SIBU: A total number of 891 athletes representing 46 teams will vie for cash prizes worth RM17,000 cash prizes in the Sibu Open Track & Field Championship to be held at Stadium Tun Zaidi from Sept 8 to 9.

Sibu Amateur Athletic Association (Saaa) secretary Ting Siew Nguong said there is a slight drop in the number of participants this year which he attributed to the clash of dates with the Perak XIX Sukma starting on Sept 13.

“Still, we managed to attract about 900 participants and that is something to cherish,” he added.

Two teams are from Peninsular Malaysia, three from Sabah and the rest from Kuching, Sri Aman, Bintulu, Miri, Kapit, Mukah, Betong and Sarikei.

Bukit Jalil Sports School with 23 athletes and Malacca Sports School (19) are from West Malaysia.

Teams from Sabah are Sabah Alangkas Athletics (11 athletes), Sabah Sports School (15) and Tuaran Athletics Sabah (28).

Sarikei Selected will again be sending the biggest contingent of 136 athletes followed by Riam Road Secondary School and SMK Chung Hua Miri (both with 46 athletes), SMK Tabuan Jaya (37), SMK Kanowit and SMK Rosli Dhoby (both with 33), ISN Cats (31), SMK Julau (28) and Kuching Axis Petra Jaya Track & Field Club (27).

Teams which have registered at least 20 teams include Flying Dayaks Miri, SMK Lanang, SMK St Elizabeth, Pusat Cemerlang Kuching and Optima Miri.

Ting believes that the athletes especially from the sports schools will “certainly raise the standard of the game and, hopefully, the sports fans here will turn up to watch the events unfolding”

He views the Sibu Open as a good platform to tap rising stars in the sport.

The meet sponsors are KTS Sdn. Bhd (100m Open, U-14 and U-18 categories and 800m), Ta Ann Holding Bhd (100m, U-14 and U-11), McDonalds (80m, 100m and 110 hurdles for U-14 and U-11), Huong Seng Motor Trading Sdn Bhd (long jump for Open and U-11 categories), TN Sports (discuss for Open and U-14 categories), Delta Leasing (400m Open and U-14 categories), Smart (high jump Open and U-14 and U-11 categories), Sibu AAA (4 x 100m relay Open and U-14 categories) and Hii King Leng Foundation (Super Men’s 100m).

Saaa is believed to be the only athletics association in the country that offer cash prizes to the top three winners of the selected events.

Records breakers for the Open category will get RM50 and those for the U-14 and U-11 categories will pocket RM20.

For team events, the champion for the Open champions will receive RM500, runners-up (RM300) and RM200 for third place.

The correponding prize money for Boy’s and Girl’s U-14 are RM300, RM200 and RM100 while that for Boy’s and Girl’s U-11 are RM200, RM150 and RM100.