PETANQUE, a game which originated from Egypt and Turkey but popularised by the French aristocrats, has been included as one of the events to be held annually in conjunction with the birthday celebration of the Sultan of Perak.
State Youth and Sports Com-mittee chairman Datuk Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan said the state government was willing to allocate funds for the sport which is akin to lawn bowls.
”We hope to promote petan- que throughout Perak so that we can unearth new talents,” he told reporters after giving away prizes to winners of the Natio- nal Doubles and International Invitation Petanque Champion-ships 2006 in Kuala Kangsar recently.
About 200 participants from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia competed in the two-day event held at the Public Works Depart-ment’s (JKR) petanque court.
The event was divided into the national and international invitation categories.
Organising secretary Abdul Razak Ariffin said he welcomed the plan to popularise the sport in Perak.
Abdul Razak said like lawn bowls, petanque could also bring in the medals for the country at international meets.
“Many may not be aware that petanque is one of the events to be contested at the Beijing Olympics 2008.
“We have a good chance to shine in such a sport at international level as it is not a phy- sical game,” he said, citing the success of the country’s lawn bow- lers at the recent Commonwealth Games.
Siti Zalina Ahmad retained the women’s singles gold medal while Nur Iryani Azmi, Nor Hashimah Ismail and Azlina Arshad emerged the women’s triples champions.
Other than challenge trophies, winners of the national doubles categories received RM1,500, RM1,000, RM750 and RM500 for first, second, third and fourth places respectively.
The first four finishers in the international invitation competi-tion received RM2,000, RM1,500, RM1,000 and RM750 respecti-vely.