SIBU: Sibu archer Desmond Ho Liang Hong is determined to soldier on with his training programme despite the cancellation of the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Johor next year.
“To say that I am not disappointed and sad is an understatement but rest assure that nothing is going to derail my plan to get the momentum going and to keep myself fit in preparation for the championship,’ he said when contacted.
He could understand the reasoning for the cancellation of the Games which will next be held in 2022.
“The health of the people is of topmost priority and the National Sports Council (NSC) had made the correct decision to cancel the sports meet even though it means lots of disappointment for those who had been training so hard for the past years to take part,” he said.
The 16-year-old can find solace in that he can still qualify for the next Sukma. But it may not be so fortunate for athletes who are 21 (age limit for Sukma) this year.
However, the NSC have yet to decide on the age limit factor and whether affected athletes are eligible for the 2022 Sukma.
Desmond, who is aiming to be the first archer from Sibu to qualify for Sukma, shot to stardom when he nailed two gold medals in the Men’s Open and U-15 categories of the 14th Sarawak Open Indoor Archery Championship held in Kapit in 2018 and when he was just a 14-year-old rookie.
Last year, the recurve bow archer won the gold medal in the Men’s Open and the silver medal in the U-15 category of the Sarawak Indoor Championship held in Kuching.
He also went on to win the team gold in partnership with Alvin Tan and Cecil Nathaniel at the 2019 MSSM National Championship in Penang.
At the Sarawak Games (Suksar) held in Miri last year, he picked up two silver medals in the Individual Olympic Round and team event and a bronze in the mixed team event.
Early this year, he secured two gold and two silver medals at the Inter Division Schools Championship in Bintulu.
Desmond had been training at full steam despite the Movement Control Order since March 18 first at the compound of his house and later at the Pemasa Sibu range at Jalan Lanang.
“I need to do the daily practice to prevent my skills from getting rusty,” he said.
He is currently preparing for two competitions – Sarawak Indoor Archery Championship and Sarawak Sports Corporation Excellence Centre for Archery competition – scheduled for December in Miri.
“Hopefully, the Covid-19 situation will improve by then so that the championship will be able to proceed,” he added.