THE Penang state government has promised cash rewards to all Penang athletes who return with a medal from the 16th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Sarawak.
Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon announced the rewards during the flag-handing ceremony for the state contingent at the Penang Times Square in George Town.
An athlete who wins a gold medal in an individual event will receive RM3,000, and a silver and bronze will net RM2,000 and RM1,000 respectively.
For events with less than five participants, a gold is worth RM1,000, silver RM700 and bronze RM500.
Athletes in events involving five or more per team will each receive RM500 for a gold, RM300 (silver) and RM200 (bronze) if they are successful in Sarawak.
“I hope the announcement of the rewards will spur the Penang athletes to achieve greater heights in the Games.
“All athletes chosen to represent Penang are capable of success and are worthy to return as champions,” said Mohd Rashid.
The biennial games, which is an Under-21 competition, is held in Kuching, Sibu and Miri from this Saturday to July 31.
State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Chong Eng, who is also the Penang chef-de-mission for the Sarawak Sukma, said the state was eyeing a top five finish in the medal standings.
“Two years ago in Perlis, Penang managed to bring home 24 gold medals and we finished seventh in the medal standings. Our target this time is to win 30 gold medals, which I believe can secure us a top five finish.
“With the hard work and dedication from the athletes and coaches, and the support from the athletes’ families, we can all turn Penang into a sports powerhouse in the country,” said Chong Eng.
During the recent ceremony, the state flag was presented to Mohd Rashid by ex-Olympian runners and current Penang athletics coaches Krishnasamy Tambusamy and PLBS Payadesa. Mohd Rashid passed over the flag to the reigning world wushu champion Chan Lu Yi, who represented the Penang athletes.
The 18-year-old Lu Yi will compete in the women’s taijiquan and taijijian events in Sarawak.
The Penang athletes, led by athletics’ gold medal prospect J. Pavithraa Devi, took an oath to strive for excellence and bring glory to Penang.
The Penang State Sports Council also lauched a mobile app named ‘PgGOV SUKMA’ at the event. The app, which can be dowloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple Store, will track the results and acheivements of the Penang athletes during the Sarawak Sukma.
Penang is sending a 441-member contingent, which includes 291 athletes, to Sarawak. The remainder of the contingent consists of 51 coaches, 25 team managers and 74 support staff.
The Penang athletes will compete in 22 sports — weightlifting, badminton, football, volleyball, artistic gymnastics, hockey, karate, lawn bowls, archery, shooting, athletics, pencak silat, sailing, petanque, swimming, sepak takraw, squash, taekwondo, tennis, bowling, boxing and wushu.