DESPITE the ample sports programmes initiated by the Youth and Sports Ministry, local athletes have yet to reach international standards, said Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali.
“We have the right facilities and the right talent. The athletes just need to be nurtured and groomed systematically,” he said during the launch of the 8th Polytechnic Sports Council Sports Carnival at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh recently.
He added that events such as the carnival were good platforms for budding athletes to show their skills.
“Here is where those with potential can shine and get selected for national training,” said Tajol Rosli.
“Those who persevere and excel also reflect their love for the country. Keep it up. After all, sports helps expand both your physical and mental capabilities,” he said.
During the three-day event from Aug 22 to Aug 24, some 1,400 polytechnic students from 20 polytechnic schools across the country came together for the sports meet.
Perak’s Politeknik Ungku Omar athletes broke the most records with a total of nine, namely in the men’s and women’s high jump and 400m, women’s 4X100m, 4x400m, 100m and 100m hurdles, and the men’s long jump.
On the second day, Md Shukry Hasan leapt a height of 1.86m, 0.01m higher than the previous record set by Lee Hong Hong of Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in 2003.
Nurul Eftihah Mohd Kassim later smashed her own 100m record by clocking 12.9 seconds, 0.1 sec faster than her previous record set in 2003.
On the final day, both Norizan Mohd Zawawi and teammate Farah Nadia Razman soared 1.47m to shatter the old mark of 1.46m recorded in 2003.
Later, R. Sivaram and Siti Maimunah Satar wowed the audience when both broke the 400m records, with Sivaram clocking 52.2 sec, 0.7 sec faster than the 2003 record and Siti Maimunah clocking 63.1 sec, 2.3 sec faster than the previous record.
Siti Maimunah bagged another gold medal when she smashed the 100m hurdles record the following day. She clocked 16.3s, slicing off an impressive 3.9 seconds from the old record.