More $ needed for athlete programmes | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Kota Kinabalu: More financial assistance are needed for the State track and field athletes to carry out their programmes and fulfill their potential, said Sabah Athletics Association President Fred Gabriel on Monday.

He said this after the 13-member state team with five officials returned from the Perak Open with one gold, three silvers and two bronze.

“The result we got in Perak Open clearly showed what was lacking in our athletes as compared to our competitors.

“We need more competitions especially for those athletes with potentials. And apart from those currently in the Sukma squad, those closest to the qualifying marks should also be given the chance to compete in more competitions.”

He said budget constraint is an issue for them to achieve their target and he hoped more private sector will come forward to finance their quest to produce more elite athletes.

“We are very thankful for the grant given by the Youth and Sports Ministry through Sabah Sports Council but obviously we need more funds and we hope the private sectors will come forward to help us.”

He also said it is very important for all Sukma coaches to sit down and work together to prepare a programme so that they can achieve their medal target in Kuching and he also suggest to include Dr. Dayang Maryamah Awang Daud, who is the head of UMS Sports Science Programme in their set-up.

“All coaches must sit together to analyze how to secure more gold for the state, and we will welcome Dr. Dayang to be one of the advisers in our Sukma committee working together with our coaches and I believe her presence will help our course.”

He added that they may hold a Sukma camp and fitness test for their athletes in Likas complex after the coming Sabah Games in Tawau.

Meanwhile, Sabah won the only gold in the championship through the quartet of Jason Alexter, Tonga Jody Edmund, Shafie Irwan and Stanley Stephen in the Sports Excel (Junior ) 4 x 100 relay with their winning time of 41.71s.

Coach Ceril Yapp was impressed with their time and believed they will get better with more competitions “The 4x100mr team is very impressive having run 41.71 . We will give them more high level competition overseas and there is a likely chance that they will strike gold in Kuching 2016,” he said.

The foursome also delivered silver in the Open category with a slower time of 41.76s while the other silvers were contributed by Jail omar in Javelin (51.72m) and Raymond Yew- in the 1500m (4m 13s).

The two bronze were won by Paul Kenneth Tay in Shot put (13.6m) and Norhalizah Saidi in 1500m (5m 23.71s).