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Westports-Aided Klang District Makes Improved Strides At MSSS Meet

KELANA JAYA, 18 APRIL 2008 - The Klang contingent of 112 athletes nearly created history at the 56th Selangor Schools Sports Council (MSSS) athletics meet held at the MBPJ stadium, here recently.

They led the medal tally from day one, only to be overtaken in the last two events on the final day.

They were pipped to the overall champions title by a mere one gold medal difference by eventual champions Hulu Langat who collected 27 gold, 22 silver and 22 bronze medals against Klang's haul of 26 gold, 23 silver and 21 bronze.

Until the final few events, Klang had looked likely to create history of winning the title for the first time in 55 years.

This year's event saw a total of 21 new records being created in various categories with Klang district contributing 4 of them. A total of ten districts participated in this year's championship, which also served as a selection ground for the MSSM meet in April.

Of the 69 athletes shortlisted to represent Selangor, 11 from Klang made it. They include double record-breaker Ong Chin Yong, double gold medal winners Mohd Syafiq Imran Omar and Alif Ashraf as well as women's triple gold medal winner, Suganya Naderaja.

Ong was also named Sportsman in the men's Class 3 while Mohd Syafiq won a similar award for men's Class 4. In the women's category, Suganya took home the Class Two Sportswoman award.

Klang District Education Officer Haji Mahmud Karim said this was the third time in a row that the district has emerged runner-up in the annual state championship.

"Prior to 2005, we were never in the top 3 bracket, but thanks to support from Westports, our corporate partner, we have steadily developed our young athletes to state and national material."

"Our development programme, which is long-term and systematic, is starting to pay dividends, as most of our winners this year are from the 10 to 15 year old categories," Haji Mahmud said.

"The monetary support from Westports has helped us to unearth many talents from rural areas via talent clinics and motivational programmes. Some of these athletes have also made it to the sports school in Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar and we hope they would one day make an impact at national and international levels," he said.

Meanwhile, Westports Executive Director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said Westports sponsorship of the Klang Schools athletes was aimed at nurturing young talents into world-class material, just as the port, which is renowned for providing world-class services.

"Potential athletes were identified and selected under the Westports programme with centralised training by capable teachers who have been groomed to become coaches. The results during the last three years are very encouraging indeed and we hope the athletes will continue to shine at national and international meets," he said.

Source: Bernama