Jonathan bags silver at World Para meet
It may be a long way still for Sabah to get back in the rung among the country’s leading powerhouses in sports. Passion and spirit are key to driving it forward and with no lack thereof, the path to realising the ambition could be shorter than previously imagined.
KOTA KINABALU: It may be a long way still for Sabah to get back in the rung among the country's leading powerhouses in sports. Passion and spirit are key to driving it forward and with no lack thereof, the path to realising the ambition could be shorter than previously imagined.
Vision creates the push needed to inch it forward and none presents it more clearly than the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
But athletes play crucial role in injecting hope through commitment and effort reflected in their achievements. And the latest name to be made a beaming example is national long jumper Jonathan Wong.
The 28-year-old local won a silver medal in the T12 Long Jump at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Thursday (Friday in Malaysia), when he jumped a distance of 7.06 metres in his fifth attempt for his season's best.
The distance, however, was a far cry from his personal best of 7.22m set in China Open in May last year.
Doniyor Saliev of Uzbekistan, 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist, won the gold, setting a new competition record of 7.44m, thus erasing the previous distance of 7.10m set by four-time Paralympic champion, Hilton Langenhoven of South Africa at the 2006 edition in Assen, Netherlands.
Rio Olympics 2016 silver medallist, Kamil Aliyev of Azerbaijan, on the other hand, settled for bronze by posting his season best of 7.00m.
And the silver earned Jonathan a ticket to the Tokyo Paralympics next year and on hand to recognise the achievement was Sabah's Youth and Sports Minister Phoong Jin Zhe.
Phoong praised Jonathan for his effort and hard work. He described the sportsman as a role model for all young Sabahans.
"I am proud of Jonathan's success and I hope that other talented Sabahans would continue to shine on the world stage," he said.
Jonathan is a national Paralympic athlete who previously proved his ability by winning a gold medal at the world athletic grand prix event ‘Le Handisport Open de Paris' in France in August.
The two achievements have inspired Jonathan to train harder for more success.
He will be competing among the world's best in Tokyo next August and he hopes to make the country proud.
Meanwhile, Phoong stressed that the government through his Ministry was committed to regaining Sabah's status as a powerhouse state in sports.
He said it was achievements like
Jonathan's that provide hope for the ambition to be realised.
As a catalyst for success, the Ministry, under Phoong's leadership is developing the Sabah Sports Masterplan. Among the objectives is to produce outstanding athletes of international calibre.
Jonathan Wong, a beaming example of outstanding athletic achievements, holds up the Jalur Gemilang after winning a silver medal in the long jump at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
Phoong (right) shares a moment with Jonathan shortly before the latter's departure to Dubai for the World Para Athletics Championships.