Penang aim 25 gold medals while Kedah hope for between 36 and 40 golds

THE Penang contingent are targeting a haul of 25 gold, 20 silver and 23 bronze medals at the 15th Malaysia Games (Sukma) to be hosted by Pahang from July 7 to July 16.

State Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussein said the state contingent would be participating in all 24 events with a total of 325 athletes.

“As a token of appreciation, monetary incentives will be given to athletes who bring home medals,” he said.

“For individual events, the winning athlete will each be given RM3,000 (gold), RM2,000 (silver) and RM1,000 (bronze).

“For events involving less than five athletes, the incentives are RM1,000 (gold), RM700 (silver) and RM500 (bronze),” he said.

Abdul Halim added that events with more than five athletes, the incentives were RM500, RM300 and RM200 respectively.

State Youth, Sports and Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong said Penang were a sports powerhouse which had produced top international athletes such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol David.

Abdul Halim and Ong were present at the state flag presentation ceremony to the athletes held at Dewan Utama Siswa Tekun, Universiti Sains Malaysia yesterday.

In Alor Setar, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak announced that medal winners at the Games would be rewarded with cash on the spot.

He urged every participant to uphold the true spirit of sportsmanship and compete for the glory of it.

He also told the athletes to fight hard with pride to keep the state’s flag flying high.

“As a reward for their efforts, all medal winners will be aptly rewarded,’’ he said during the flag handing over ceremony to the Kedah contingent at the mentri besar official residence in Mentaloon, Alor Setar.

A gold medal winner will be given RM3,500 immediately after the prize presentation while a silver medallist will earn RM2,000.

A bronze medal winner is worth RM1,000. As for the team event, the amount will be decided later.

The same incentives were offered in 2010 and Kedah athletes came away with 39 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 31 bronze medals.

“Hopefully, the same incentives will have a similar effect this year,’’ he said.

Azizan also announced that the chef- de-mission Datuk Khazali Din, whose close rapport with the athletes brought success to the Kedah contingent in 2010, has been re-appointed to lead the Kedah again.

Azizan then handed over the Kedah flag to deputy chef-de-mission Syed Khairul Anwar Abidin as Khazali was out of state on official duty.

Earlier in his speech, Kedah Sports Council chairman Datuk Dr Hamdan Mohd Khalib said a total of 371 athletes had been selected to represent the state in 24 different games. They will be accompanied by 100 officials.

A total of 377 gold medals, 377 silver medals and 453 bronze medals are on offer at the games.

A total of 15 contingents including Brunei will compete this year in Kuantan.

Dr Hamdan envisaged that Kedah were capable of collecting between 36 and 40 gold medals this time around.

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