SARIKEI: Miri Division bagged a total of 421 points from 31 gold, 23 silver and 29 bronze medals to emerge overall champion in the 48th State-level Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSS) athletics meet held at Sarikei Sports Complex from March 2 to 5.
Sarikei, which had hoped to wrest the title by banking on home ground, did well enough to finish runner-up with 363.5 points from 19 gold, 30 silver and 20 bronze medals. Third was Kuching (266 points from 18-17-15) followed by Bintulu, Sibu, Limbang, Kapit, Mukah, Samarahan, Betong, Sri Aman and Serian.
Miri also produced the Best Girl Athlete courtesy of Ormilla Octavia Codday Nyadau who broke records in the Under-14 100m(12.40sec) and 200m (26.44s).
Kuching’s Elvin Yap Zhi Xian emerged as the Best Boy Athlete after smashing the record in the 110m hurdles for Under-18 with a time of 13.50sec, more than half a second below the old mark.
Other best girl athletes were Nur Rayhana Ramzi of Sarikei (Under-12 high jump: 1.43m), Nathalie Lenang of Kapit (U-15 long jump: 5.17m) and Ivy Nayan Banyah of Sarikei (2000m steeplechase: 7:56.50).
The other best boy athletes were McKenzie Murphy Refoll of Kuching (U-12 100m: 11.8s), Stephen Andrewson Robert of Bintulu (U-14 110mh: 14.9s) and Rueben Valen Samen of Miri (U-15 long jump: 6.80m).
State Education Director Dr Azhar Ahmad, who officiated at the closing ceremony last Thursday, expressed the hope that the Sarawak contingent would be able to lift the national title again in the coming MSSM Inter-State Championships to be held in Negeri Sembilan from April 10 to 17.
The state student athletes have won the MSSM title 19 times since 1993 while finishing runner-up four times including last year’s meet in Johor.
He stressed, however, that winning the race was not the ultimate objective of sports programmes sanctioned by the Education Ministry.
In education, he said, sports was considered as a platform to impart positives values to complement the students’ academic capability, which was in line with the country’s human capital development.
The director also pointed out that identified talents among the students would be developed under Young Talent Excellence Programme (Program Kecemerlangan Bakat Muda) at District Training Centres (PLD) or School High Performing Sports Programme (STPS). He revealed that a total of 48 PLDs have been set up throughout the state since 2009.
Source: Borneo Post