Kuching - Sarawak is optimistic with the 77 gold medals target in the coming 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma XIX) which is hoped to be enough to secure the overall title when the games commences in Perak on Sept 11 to 22.

This was revealed by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTACYS), YB Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah who said that much had been done to prepare the 700-strong contingent including talent spotting, systematic planning and training, overseas exposure and reviving the Sarawak Games or Suksar, a multi-sports event held at the state level.

According to him, the targeted medal tally also serves as a good benchmark for Sarawak athletes to achieve in their quest to bring the overall championship title this time round.

The minister is also enthusiastic with the potential gold medal collection in view of Sarawak taking part in all of the 29 sports to be competed in Perak and among the sports expected to deliver the goods are tenpin bowling, taekwondo, wushu and women’s rugby.

“Our weightlifters have been preparing for the last two years, they came from all over Sarawak, whom the state sent for secret training. Many people are looking at our weightlifters and this news is known by other states, that Sarawak’s team is very strong in weightlifting even though at the last Sukma we won one gold,” he said as he offered an assessment of the chances of the various sports.

He also announced the Sarawak flag will be officially handed over by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to the state's contingent Chief-de-Mission (CDM) Datuk Snowdan Lawan on September 8 at Century Hotel in Kuching.

The Chief Minister will also be flying off to Ipoh, Perak on September 17 where he is scheduled to have lunch with the state contingent members and also to visit some of the competition venues.