By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Dec 6: Sarawak women’s powerlifter Stephanie Mary Ensol powered herself to overall gold in the under 47kg category of the just-concluded Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan said Stephanie’s performance once again put Sarawak on the world map and has made the state proud.
“The state recognises her contribution in the sport she competes in and we will give her an incentive like any other athlete who shines in international competition,” he said.
“We will leave the incentive to Sarawak’s grant committees for athletes and the incentive amount will be according to the level of competition,” he said without disclosing the amount.
Snowdan said this when met by reporters after he welcomed Stephanie and her coach Neil Pick back from the championship at Kuching International Airport, today.
He said lately many Sarawak women athletes had done well in international competitions, proving that their performances were as good as male athletes
“Women and men athletes’ contributions and their excellent performances at the international level is exemplary to all our athletes, and this helps to make Sarawak a sports powerhouse in the country.”
“Male and female athletes have to work hard and they will be rewarded according to the sports level they competed.
Snowdan said that 31-year-old Stephanie who joined the sport of the powerlifting in the last four and a half years had won a few international titles in her category and is now considered as the best in Asia and the commonwealth countries.
“She is like a star to us and she will be taken care so she will go far in the sport of the powerlifting,” he enthused.
“We hoped that she continued to compete in the highest level of the sport and brings good names to Sarawak and also the sport of the powerlifting. Sarawak government will help all our athletes to go higher and help them to achieve their goals,” he said.
Apart from the overall gold in the under 47kg category she competes in, Stephanie also won a gold medal in the deadlift and two silver medals each in the bench press and squat disciplines of the sport.
A total of 500 athletes from 22 countries competed in the championship.—DayakDaily