Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said the event prepared athletes for bigger challenges and unearthed athletic talents.
“This is among the steps by the ministry to ensure Sabah is on the right track in athletics to bring glory to Malaysia in other championships such as SEA Games,” he said.
Tawfik said this to reporters after opening the Sabah International Athletics Open Championship here, last night.
He said interest for athletics could also be fostered among school-going children, who turned up to watch the championship.
He said the State Government lauded the support of all quarters including the private sector and non-government organisations in ensuring the smooth organisations of similar sport championships in the state.
“We want the championship to become an annual event with the support of all. It should also be held in other venues such as Tawau, Keningau, Sandakan, and Ranau districts,” he said.
Tawau athlete, Fathian Faqihah Mohd Yusuf emerged as Best Female athlete in the senior category collecting five gold medals. The Best Male athlete was Teo Lee Ke from Nabawan, who collected two gold medals.
The Sabah Malaysia Sports School contingent was overall best contingent.
A total of 29 contingents including from Sri Lanka, Singapore, Federal Territory of Labuan, Melaka and 25 districts in Sabah took part in the championship, which began yesterday. – BERNAMA