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Success of para athletes hailed as eye opener
Tarikh : 02 Sep 2021  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post Online
 

KUCHING (Sept 1): The success of Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and Jong Yee Khie in winning medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games has raised the dignity and prestige of the disabled community (OKU).

The point was made by Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Child Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah who said the achievements of the Sarawak duo also opened the eyes of the community on the capabilities of the OKU.

“They have been able to raise Malaysia’s name on the world stage. Not many athletes can reach this level,” she said in a statement on Monday.

Five of the 22 national athletes taking part in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo are from Sarawak.

Fatimah said the success of the Paralympic athletes from Sarawak could also inject enthusiasm and motivate local para athletes who will compete in the national-level Para Sukma in Johor next year.

“Hopefully, the Sarawak para athletes can follow in the footsteps of Bonnie and Jong and achieve success so that Sarawak will once again emerge as the overall champion in Para Sukma for the 14th time,” Fatimah said.

Sarawak is the undisputed powerhouse of the Para Sukma and has won the overall title in every edition since 1994.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Paralympic gold medallist Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and silver medallist Jong Yee Khie arrived back in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. Both expressed their desire to be able to spend time with their families after they have served the 14-day quarantine.

Bonnie told Bernama that it had been more than a year since he went back home to his village in Serian, Sarawak.

Like most national athletes he had been training under quarantine in accordance with the sports bubble concept at the capital city to avoid the risk of Covid-19 infection.

When asked what he planned to do with the RM1 million incentive under the Sports Victory Prize Scheme Incentive (SHAKAM), Bonnie said he had not considered anything.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with the prize money yet, I’ll have to ask my father,” he replied to the media at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Bonnie thanked all Malaysians who prayed for his success as well as national coach Jamil Adam.

“Thanks to all of you and everyone who assisted me. Happy National Day. ‘Demi Malaysia’ (for Malaysia),” he added.

Yee Khie echoed Bonnie in thanking Jamil who coached and helped to strategise for his success in Tokyo.

“In the 2016 Rio Games, I finished seventh in the 97 kg category. Then the coach asked me to increase my muscle mass, and we can see the improvement and I was able to contend for a medal this time around.

“After this, I am heading back (to Kuching, Sarawak), because I haven’t been back for so long. Thank you, fellow Malaysians, Happy National Day,” he said.

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