SANDAKAN, 11 Nov – Sabah Tennis Association (STA) has taken the “sad and disheartening” news that the Sukma Johor 2020 has been postponed to 2022 in its stride but hopes that there will be “positives” when the age eligibility is decided.
The twice-postponed biennial games will now be held in 2022 at the request of the Johor Government due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has taken its toll on sporting events not only in Malaysia but also in the rest of the world.
The national games were rescheduled to April next year after being postponed twice this year due to the pandemic which has caused lockdowns throughout the country.
STA President, Johnson Koh (pic) although disappointed with the latest developments that have also hit other sports like football, badminton, hockey, and athletics, is keeping his fingers crossed that the “age factor” will be given serious thought and those who have trained hard will not be left by the wayside.
“Sukma is Malaysia’s Mini-Olympics where future ‘stars’ in Malaysian sports are born. We cannot deny them the opportunity to compete. Hopefully, the age-limit will be raised to Under-23 instead of Under-21 because it will be the due reward for their hard work.
“They (the athletes) have been training to win medals in Sukma. Winning a medal in Sukma means a lot to the athlete and to the state,”’ said Johnson.
”After the first postponement because of the Covid-19, it was already a tragedy and the spirits and training were a bit hampered but not hopeless. Self-discipline in training keeps us going as we still have hope that there will be positives when the age limit is decided.”
On another note, STA has lost hosting the ATF 14 and the International team invitational tennis events, the local junior tournaments due to the pandemic.