A view of the matches on day two of the championship at Sarawak Lawn Bowl Arena. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah thanked the World Chinese Badminton Federations (WCBF) for their confidence in choosing Kuching to host for the 26th World Masters Badminton Championships and hoped that more events will be held in Sarawak in the near future.

“It was indeed a great honour for Sarawak to host this year’s tournament,” he said at a welcoming dinner for the officials and participants of the championship at a local hotel here Friday night and graced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The ongoing tournament is being held from Oct 31 until Nov 3 at two venues — Sarawak Lawn Bowls Arena and the Sarawak Indoor Stadium in Petra Jaya here.

In welcoming the guests from 20 countries, Karim hoped that all of them will have a pleasant stay here.

Karim said this year’s event has received an overwhelming response from participants worldwide with some 1,860 players from 20 countries.

A view of the matches on day two of the championship at Sarawak Lawn Bowl Arena. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

He thanked WCBF, Sibu Badminton Club and Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) for doing a good job in organising the prestigious event.

“A wonderful job done in hosting this championship which will become a good platform to encourage more players to come again with their families and friends to visit Sarawak.

“Winning or losing is a normal thing in any competition but what is important is that all of you have enjoyed the wonderful experience of playing badminton here, not forgetting the new friends or acquaintances whom you will meet,” he added.

Karim said the state government has always encouraged visitors from other countries to come here to take part in sporting events because it is part of promoting sports tourism and to showcase the international standard facilities which Sarawak has.

Previously, he said Sarawak has hosted many international sporting events, including the 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championships in 2017 which led to the hosting of this year’s 21st Asia Masters Athletics Championship 2019 which will be held here on Dec 2 to 6.