Group photo of some Sarikei Selected athletes with Liong (third from right).

SIBU: Despite putting up its best front, Sarikei Selected failed to nail the overall title of the 14th edition of the Sibu Open Track and Field Championship last weekend.

They won 13 gold medals but lost to eventual champion Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) by one gold.

Team manager Liong Shuen Leong admitted that Sarikei’s strength lies in the field events.

Nevertheless, he is happy with the overall result after his athletes were also runner-up for Boy’s U-14 and third for Girl’s U-14.

11 of their gold came from their stable of throwers which included Ngu Ing Biao (men’s discus), Wong Yu Kiong (boy’s discus), Kong Chin Poh (men’s shot put), Queenie Ting (women’s discus), Grace Wong (women’s hammer), Farisha Athran Wai (girl’s javelin), Caren Law (girl’s discus), Seremy (women’s javelin) and Kong Hung Ting (women’s shot put).

The three record breakers were Grace (53.08m in women’s hammer), Ing Biao (44.40m in men’s discus) and Chin Poh (13.20m in men’s shot put).

“There are some areas which we fumbled and which we will do the post mortem when we go back after the Perak Sukma. Nevertheless, we are generally satisfied with the overall results and are more than happy with our outing,” Liong added.

Sarikei Selected, obviously gunning for the title, assembled the biggest contingent of 136 athletes for the meet.

They comprised athletes from schools in Sarikei and Meradong such as SMK Tinggi, SMK Julau, SMK Bandar Bintangor, SMK St Anthony, SMK Tong Hua, SMK Sg Paoh, SJK Tong Hua, SJK Sungei Boah and other schools from Julau and Sarikei districts

“Most of our athletes are young and out for exposure. Hopefully, next year, we can step a gear higher and capture the overall title,” said Liong who was also part-time coach for Sarawak High Performance Sports at Malaysia Sports Council.