Athletes on track to spring surprises in Johor


Noraseela (second row, second left) and assistant coach Eldy Sham Irlon (left) pose for a photo-call with some athletes at the Sarawak Stadium on Wednesday.

KUCHING: While the throwers traditionally produce the goods at Sukma, Sarawak can also expect some medals from track athletes at Sukma Johor from March 6 to 14 next year.

Sprint and hurdles head coach Noraseela Mohd Khalid has highlighted hurdling duo Mandy Goh Li and Alvine Jostine as potential gold medallists and others like Dion Dexter Kedang to spring some surprises.

“The competition on the track is expected to be tough but the current target is for Mandy to strike gold in the women’s 400m hurdles.

“Alvine and Dion are shaping up well for the challenge and I am hoping that they will deliver the medals for the Sarawak Contingent,” said Noraseela during a training session at the Sarawak Stadium in Petra Jaya recently.

“Sarawak has always been doing well in athletics especially in the throw events and we expecting to win a lot of medals in the field events while we have set a target of one gold in the track events in Sukma Johor,” she said.

However, she has reminded the athletes not to underestimate other teams in Johor.

“Out of the 25 athletes in the long list, the majority are newcomers and I am looking forward to them doing better in the next two editions of Sukma,” said the coach from Penang who still holds the 400m hurdles national record of 56.02s set in 2006.

Noraseela Mohd Khalid

The former Olympian and Asian Games medalist admitted that it had really been a difficult year for the state athletes as they were not only unable to undergo normal training after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic but also prevented from having exposure stints outside the country.

However, she is looking forward to the athletes getting some competition exposure in the state time trials this month and November as well as the Perak Open in November.