Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi has set a goal of over 50 gold medals for Johor in the 20th Malaysia Games (SUKMA) and challenged the Johor contingent to go beyond and exceed the initial gold medal target of 50 to 55 gold medals, which were previously 40 gold medals.
“I see that our athletes are ready and have made early preparations, ever since Johor was chosen as the host for 2020, which unfortunately had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Onn Hafiz during a ceremony to present the Johor flag to the Sukma contingent at the Dewan Utama Majlis Bandaraya Iskandar Puteri.
State Secretary Tan Sri Azmi Rohani, the contingent’s chef de mission Datuk Mohamad Najib Samuri, and the chairman of the state Youth, Sport, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives, and Human Resources Committee, Mohd Hairi Mad Shah, were also present.
Prior to the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Hairi has announced a target of 40 gold medals and a top-five finish for the Malaysian Games which would take place in the Klang Valley.
Johor will be represented by 526 athletes who will compete in 426 events across 31 sports. Canoeing, athletics, cycling, aquatics, shooting, and football are among the sports in which Johor is expected to excel.
Onn Hafiz stated in his speech that the state government was looking to increase the incentive for medal winners.
“I will discuss this with the State Secretary and the exco members. Nonetheless, I am confident that monetary incentives are not the main motivation for these athletes. Our strength is not only from physical strength but also from our never back down spirit,” said Onn Hafiz.
For the 2018 SUKMA, Johor gold medal winners received between RM1,500 and RM3,000, silver medal winners received between RM1,000 and RM2,500, and bronze medal winners received between RM750 and RM1,500 (bronze).