Sarawak to help athletes push harder in training to clinch more gold in Sukma Johor

Abdul Muktalib (fifth left) in a photo with participants of the workshop.

KUCHING, Feb 29: Sarawak can increase its set target of golds if it followed the recommendations derived from an analysis workshop held at the Palm Grove, Sematan here from Feb 23 and 26.

Its strategy was to recommend to the High Performance Centre the number of athletes identified for each sport with focus on a last push for their training and development as Sukma Johor is just bout five months away.

The workshop working committee head Abdul Muktalib Mohamad pointed out that the objective of the committee was to find ways to increase the gold medals haul to help Sarawak with a fighting chance of recapturing the overall championships title in Sukma.

“Our strategy is to focus on athletes who are mostly silver medalists, giving them the final push to clinch gold. Even though it is easier said than done, we will not stop at trying.

“We also want to come up with a realistic target to achieve the number of medals – particularly gold medals as we had been off target.

“This Sukma will be an upward battle for Sarawak as most of the athletes are still young and are in their developing stage but will mature maybe in the next one or two Sukmas to come,” he said, referring to high profile athletes like swimming sensation Welson Sim or sprinter Jonathan Nyepa who will not be eligible for the next Sukma due to age.

Abdul Muktalib revealed that potential athletes in various sports have been identified.

Among the 14 sports which it aimed to increase its gold medals haul were kayak, athletics, diving, Muay Thai, silat, golf, wushu, boxing, judo, wushu, pentanque, tenpin bowling, shooting and longboat racing.

He added that sports like volleyball does not need further efforts as the association has taken good steps in development to assure the sure golds while they do not pick athletes from sports that do not stand a chance of winning a medal as proven in past Sukmas.

“We are targeting two gold from wushu while we also try to push further by giving focus on talents like Sephanie Ngu and Annifah Yong who were silver medalists in the last Sukma.

“In weightlifting, we have targeted three potential athletes to improve further and stand a chance to win golds in the coming Sukma.

“In athletics, shot putter Mah Chin Poh could be the next Sukma champion as he has the potential having participated in the past two Sukmas,” he elaborated. — DayakDaily