Ong (centre) poses with Sarawak Weightlifting Association president Gerald Rentap Jabu (second left) and Ayub (right) yesterday.

KUCHING: The National Junior and Senior Weightlifting Championship, Sarawak Circuit 1 kicked off at tHe Spring Shopping Mall here yesterday.

Datuk Ayub Rahmat and chief executive officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation, Dr Ong Kong Swee jointly officiated at the opening ceremony at South Court, Ground Floor, tHe Spring Shopping Mall, here, yesterday.

“This is a good opportunity for the state athletes to show their prowess,” said Ong yesterday. “The objective of the championship is to establish Sarawak as a powerhouse in the sport and not just for our athletes to take part in Sukma but also SEA Games, Asian Games and the Olympic Games,” added Ong.

Ong (centre) poses with Sarawak Weightlifting Association president Gerald Rentap Jabu (second left) and Ayub (right) yesterday.

The five-day event was held in collaboration with Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (PABM), Sarawak Weightlifting Federation (PABNS), Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC), the Sarawak government with tHe Spring Shopping Mall Kuching as the venue sponsor.

A total of 15 teams comprising Sarawak, Sabah, Johor, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis, Putrajaya, MSN (Majlis Sukan Negara), Kelantan, Penang, Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian
Armed Forces (ATM) with 126 athletes are taking part in the
championship.

Sarawak is being represented by 11 weightlifters, three from the elite athletes who participated in Sukma 2018 and eight new faces from the development programme including Carlos Berayan, Adrian Jana, Jerry Gawan, Tujang Ik Topia, Mohd Gardafi, Petrus Isaac, Hussien Omar for the men’s categories while Relina Yik, Marthini Chan, Victoria Jack and Cheeryln Upang are taking part in the women’s categories.

Meanwhile, the men’s event is divided into 10 categories — 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 89kg, 96kg, 102kg, 109kg and 109kg above while the women’s event also comprise 10 categories — 45kg, 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 71kg, 76kg, 81kg, 87kg and 87kg above.