Sarawak to develop fencing, produce world-class athletes

Mastapa (seated 4th left) with other guests at the welcoming dinner.

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By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Nov 16: The state government is looking to collaborate with Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia to develop the sports of fencing.

This included producing athletes, facilities and environment for fencing enthusiasts to thrive, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“The sports of fencing in Sarawak needs to be given the right environment to flourish and expose new talent (fencers). We also need world class coaching to succeed,” he said at the closing of the 2019 Invitational Fencing Challenge welcoming dinner here yesterday.

Abdul Karim’s text-of-speech was read by Miri Resident Mastapa Julaihi.

A total of 126 fencers from Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Singapore converged in Miri for the championship taking place Nov 15-17.

Yesterday 56 fencers competed on the first day of the event, which was understood to be the first fencing tourney organised in Sarawak.

Abdul Karim said the state is planning to make the event an annual affair starting next year.

“We are in the stage of discussion to cone up with a fencing tournament for Borneo involving Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, with special participation from Singapore,” he added.

He believed such tournament, would help provide positive exposure to young and new fencing talent in Sarawak.

On the tournament, Abdul Karim said it would be a good platform for Sarawak fencers to further develop their skills.

“It is the best strategy to help Sarawak develop further the fencing sport,” he said. — DayakDaily