KUCHING, Feb 12 (Bernama) — Having lost the right to host the biennial World Para Swimming Championships in July, Kuching will now focus on preparing to hold the 21st Asia Masters Athletics Championships (AMAC) from Dec 2-6.
Sarawak Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan expects about 3,500 veteran athletes from over 45 countries to compete in this year’s AMAC, which would feature 1,500 events in various age categories.
He said the AMAC catered to athletes aged 35 and above, adding that previous meets had even attracted nonagenarians and centenarians.
Entries would be open in May and the closing date is Sept 1.
“It will be very interesting to watch all the senior citizens running, jumping and throwing at such a ripe old age,” Snowdan told a press conference after the organising committee meeting here today.
He said that for the first time in AMAC’s history, there would be a torch run to popularise the meet among Malaysians, especially Sarawakians.
He said the torch run would begin in Singapore, which hosted the 1st Asian Veteran Athletics Championships in 1981, adding that they had sought Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s assistance as it would involve two countries.
Snowdan said that apart from having set up two secretariats, one each in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, they had also launched a website last August.
He said the Sarawak Cabinet had approved RM4 million last year for the hosting of the AMAC and hoped the Federal Government would also chip in.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had stripped Malaysia of the hosting rights of the World Para Swimming Championships scheduled for July 29 to Aug 4 in Kuching after the Home Ministry failed to provide the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate, free from discrimination, and safely in the championships. — Bernama