JOHOR BARU, Feb 13 — Defending overall champion Johor have set a target of winning at least 60 to 70 gold medals in the 21st Malaysia Games (Sukma) hosted by Sarawak from August 17 to 24.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the target was achievable to ensure Johor is able to defend the overall title after having clinched the overall title in the Sukma 2022 hosted by Kuala Lumpur.

“(Initially) our target was 40 to 50 gold medals, but after looking at the motivation and determination shown by the young athletes, I am confident we can win between 60 to 70 gold medals.

“Its hoped athletes involved will maintain the same spirit and ensure victory,” he said in his speech at the Johor Sukma Countdown ‘Sukma 2024: The Next Chapter’ at MBJB Aquatic Arena in Larkin, here today.

Also present was State Youth and Sports, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives committee chairman Mohd Hairi Mad Shah.

Onn Hafiz also announced an incentive of RM10,000 for individual gold medal winners and RM20,000 for (team) gold medal winners during the 21st Sukma.

“Coaches who guide their athletes to win gold medals will receive RM5,000,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Hairi when met after the function said the amount (incentive) for silver and bronze medal winners will be announced by the Johor State Sports Council later.

“The incentive for gold was announced early to serve as an inspiration for athletes to focus on winning gold medals and to achieve the target of winning the overall title,” he said.

In the 20th Sukma held in Kuala Lumpur, Johor emerged as the overall champion after winning 77 gold, 52 silver and 43 bronze medals, well ahead of the targeted 40 gold medals. — Bernama