BANGI: The three-day motivational camp at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) in Bangi was aptly named “Golden Harvest”.
And Selangor make no bones about their intention. They are aiming for a gold rush in their bid to finish as overall champions for the sixth consecutive time in Sukma (Malaysia Games). Selangor are targeting to bag 80 gold medals at the 11th edition of Games hosted by Kedah from May 24-June 4.
At the last Sukma in Negri Sembilan in 2004, Selangor finished with a haul of 56-58-52. The only time that they raked in 80 gold medals was when they hosted the Games in 1998.
At the flag handing over ceremony on Saturday evening, the state government also announced cash incentives to athletes who win medals in Sukma.
A gold medal is worth RM2,000. The silver will earn RM1,000 and the bronze is worth RM800.
An athlete who set a Sukma record in an individual event will collect another RM5,000 while a team effort will be worth RM3,000.
The team managers and coaches have not been left out. They will get RM1,000 for each gold medal their athlete brings in. It is RM500 and RM300 for the silver and bronze respectively.
In addition, all the medallists will receive an additional RM500 if Selangor retain the overall title. And 50% of the amount the athlete is entitled to receive will be handed out immediately in Alor Star.
The Selangor State Sports Council (SSSC) chairman, Datuk Ahmad Nawawi Zin, said that Selangor would have a 418-athlete contingent and they will be competing in all 27 sports except for women's weightlifting, which makes its debut in the Games.
“We believe the target is reachable. The athletes we have been chosen from thousands through a systematic selection process and they were given intensive training from local and foreign professional coaches,” said Ahmad Nawawi.
“Some of our athletes had the benefit of being sent to compete in international meets. There are also some sports like cycling, swimming, fencing, squash and taekwondo where their athletes had the benefit of overseas training.”
He added that Selangor would have gold medal contenders in all the sports this time.
If Selangor win the overall title next month, it will be the seventh time they have done so.
They were overall winners in 1988, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004.
The athletes from the Selangor contingent wrapped up their motivational camp yesterday.
They will start leaving for Kedah in batches from May 22-24.