520 confirm participation

ATHLETICS – 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Championship

KUCHING: Sarawak will host the 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship which will be held at the Sarawak Stadium, Petra Jaya, here, from July 22 to 23.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference at the Petra Jaya State Stadium near here recently, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said a total of 520 athletes from various countries have confirmed their participation in this international event.

“They comprise veteran athletes, who have represented the country and state in the past, including Sarawak’s ‘Flying Dayak’ Watson Nyambek,” he said.

According to Karim, among the countries that have confirmed their participation are Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei, including Sabah and the Peninsular Malaysia.

He added that the largest number of athletes was from India with a total of 180 participants while Sarawak has yet to make the athletes’ selection.
He said the tournament also offers 700 medals and shows an increase compared to previous tournaments.

Sarawak also intends to host the Asian Open Masters Athletics Championship in 2019, he said, adding that the 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship will be the platform for holding the Asian Open Masters Athletics Championship.

Karim said Sarawak will also host several sport events that will be held after Hari Raya namely taekwondo and tenpin bowling tournaments among others until the end of December.

Meanwhile, the state government is striving to hold more tournaments in its effort to promote Sarawak as a tourist sports destination.