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SSTA eyes hosting three international competitions
Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Soft Tennis Association (SSTA) with the support of Malaysian Soft Tennis Association (MSTA) will forward their bids to host three international competitions within the next three years here in Kota Kinabalu.

SSTA President Richard Shak who led a delegation to meet Youth and Sports Minister Phoong Jin Zhe at his office on Monday, informed Phoong on their intention to stage the South East Asia Soft Tennis Federation (SEASTF) Soft Tennis Championship in 2020 followed by the 2nd Asian Junior Age Groups Championship 2021 and the World Soft Tennis Championship in 2023.

Sabah was supposed to host the 9th Asian Junior Championship here in 2018, but was subsequently called off as the courts in Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex were found to be in appalling state and not suitable for international tournaments by Asian Soft Tennis Malaysia (ASTF) officials when they came for final inspection.

Phoong assured SSTA that his main priority as Sports Minister is to ensure all the sports facilities including the tennis courts in Likas will be upgraded soon, after learning their predicament.

Richard had earlier requested the Minister to upgrade the courts in Likas to international standards, so that foreign players will be willing to come for competition and also to train here especially those from South Korea, Japan and China during the winter season.

Meanwhile, head coach KK Chin, who informed the Minister that he has been appointed as the technical delegate for the Manila SEA Games Soft Tennis will be in Manila on August 25 to meet Tatsuo Kasai, Secretary General of Asian Soft Tennis Federation (ASTF) to inform of Sabah’s intention to bid for all three international championships.

“I will first meet Tatsuo Kasai in Manila to explain our courts situation and put in a notice before tabling the final bid during the World Championship in China in October,” he said.

He will also be in Manila as technical delegate for the 1st Asian Junior Age Group Soft Tennis Championship and also the 1st Asian University Soft Tennis Championship to be held at Colegio San Agustin (Indoor hard tennis courts [11 courts]) San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines from August 25 to September 4.

Joining him together with coach Chris Chong for the trip will be Sabah’s up and coming player Lavender Chong (14) who will take part in the age group competition and Deborah Lai (19) in both competitions.

Lavender will also compete in the Taiwan Cittaslow FongLin Cup Soft Tennis Tournament from September 19 to 24 with sister Leviance Chong, and Christable NZ.

Chin added that Edric Tan and Ethan Tay will represent the state at the World Soft Tennis Championship 2019, scheduled to be held in Taizhou, China from October 25-November 1. – GL Oh

 



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