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KUCHING, April 22: Sarawak will be sending 16 athletes to the forthcoming Arafura Games 2019 in the Northern Territory, Australia. They will be in Darwin from April 24 till May 4.
Eight of them will compete in the track and field event (April 27-29), six in swimming (April 27-30) and two in squash (April 29-May 3).
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Rahman Karim Hamzah, handed over the state flag to the chef de mission of the state contingent, Dr Ong Kong Swee, at his office here today. Ong is also Sarawak State Sports Council (SSSC) director.
Also present were Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, officials and the athletes.
Abdul Karim advised the athletes to learn as much as they could from this outing, including improving their techniques.
“Be competitive. Always do your best and make Sarawak proud,” he said.
The 18 chosen ones are (for the track and field events) Kong Chin Poh, Ngu Ing Biao, Ailenna Thipong, Vincent Lau, Michelle Wong, Jonah Chang, Grace Wong, Mandy Goh, (for swimming events) Hii Puong Hou, Hii Puong Wei, Zachary Tan, Job Tan, Ryan Yii, Aden Yii, and (for squash events) Nathan Kueh and Chloe Chieng.
Meanwhile, SSSC said in a statement that the Arafura Games was very similar to the BIMP-EAGA Games that was held in Brunei last year and that the level of competition is considered good enough to prepare the state’s elite athletes for Sukma 2020.
In addition, since the Northern Territory’s Institute of Sports trains many Olympic hopefuls, Sarawak could learn how they organise/host this Games for athletes from the Asia-Pacific region.
Arafura Games will feature 17 sporting disciplines: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Basketball 3X3 Pro Hustle, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Football, Indoor Volleyball, Muay Thai, Netball, Sailing, Sepak Takraw, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Weightlifting.
So far, more than 1500 athletes from the following countries have registered: American Samoa, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Chinese Taipei, Cook Islands, Czech Republic, England, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Guam, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. — DayakDaily