SIBU: A record 65 teams with 936 participants have enrolled for the Sibu Open Championship which is scheduled for this weekend at Stadium Tun Ahmad Zaidi.
According to the Sibu Amateur Athletic Association secretary Ting Siew Nguong, this is the first time the number of participants for the championship has surpassed 900 athletes. Last year, only about 700 participants took part.
Ting said the participants came from all over the state. This included Kuching, Betong, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Mukah, Bintulu Kapit and Miri together with Sibu schools.
“Sarikei Selected team alone registered a massive 95 participants followed by SMK Tabuan Jaya’s 64 registered participants,” he added.
He attributed the good response this time to more primary schools taking part especially schools from Mukah Division.
For the first time ever, he said five teams from peninsular Malaysia, namely Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil, Sekolah Sukan Tungku Mahkota Ismail, Sekolah Sukan Negeri Melaka, Majlis Sukan Negeri Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur are also joining the fray.
“Although there are no superstars around, we are still anticipating stiff competition from the young athletes fighting for the cash awards which have been offered for 100M, 400M, 800M, 100M Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump and Discus,” he said.
The major sponsors for the above events are from KTS Trading Sdn Bhd; Ta Ann Holdings; Delta Leasing Sdn Bhd, TN Sports, McDonald Sibu; Smart Group of Companies, Hii King Leng Sports Fund and Huong Seng Motor Trading Sdn Bhd. The total cash rewards amount to more than RM16,000.
The special event, which is the Super 100m, for participants (Men) 100Kg and above is still open for registration on the spot. Cash prizes from Hii King Leng Sports Fund is up for grabs in this category.
Ting said Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Hamzah was expected to attend the closing ceremony at 3.30pm on Sept 10.