PENANG Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is confident that the state can achieve its target of 150 medals at the 2008 Sukma XII games in Terengganu.
The state’s target is to bring home 45 gold medals, 50 silver medals and 55 bronze medals.
“With hard work and dedication, we can improve on the medal haul,” Dr Koh said during the state’s Sukma XII countdown ceremony at Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang recently.
“In the 1996 Sukma games in Kuantan, we only managed five gold medals and were ranked 11th in the medal tally.
“In the 2006 Sukma games in Kedah, we bagged 36 gold medals and were ranked third behind Selangor and Sarawak.
“I believe we can do even better next year. In 2006, we broke the 100-medal mark for the first time and that is an achievement we should be proud of.
“However, we mustn’t rest on our laurels. Instead, we have to strive to do better and increase our total medal tally from 128 in 2006 to 150 next year,” he said, adding that the state would reward the athletes if they further improved on their performance.
Dr Koh added that young athletes should not be satisfied with being a jaguh kampung.
“Emulate world squash champion Nicol David. She is a global success and an inspiration to all local sportsmen,” he said.
In her welcoming speech, state Youth, Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Datuk Jahara Hamid said athletes, parents, coaches and the state government must work closely to ensure that the medal target was met.
“We have fewer than 200 days to prepare,” she said.
The state will send a contingent of 600 to participate in 28 events, including petanque and equestrian sport. Sukma XII will be held in Terengganu in May next year.