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Eye of the Tiger

Published: Thursday October 9, 2014 MYT 8:41:00 AM
Updated: Thursday October 9, 2014 MYT 11:42:40 AM

Proper revamp before targeting gold

Malaysia athelete contigen parade at 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 Korean.- Starpic by Kamarul Ariffin

Malaysia athelete contigen parade at 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 Korean.- Starpic by Kamarul Ariffin

We have some great athletes but overall development needs to be overhauled.

AS the Asian Games flame in Incheon was extinguished on 4th October 2014, it marked the end of the regional Games with 439 gold medals handed out . In the 15 days games period too, 17 world records were broken whilst six doping cases were reported.

Of the 439 gold medals contested, only a paltry five were won by Malaysians. Squash queen Datuk Nicol David won one individual and helped the women squash team to win another. The other three were contributed by karate exponents Lim Chee Wei , Syakila Salni and sailing duo Faizal Norizan and Syukri Abdul Aziz.

The number of gold medals fell short of the eight golds initially targeted. This is the second time in this year whereby Malaysia has not met its target, the first being the Commonwealth Games being deemed as a failure as well.

What has gone wrong? Every year, we listen to numerous sports talent sourcing programmes being planned. Every year, we know millions of ringgits are invested in nurturing the next Nicol David or Lee Chong Wei. Yet, the dream of realizing the first Malaysian Olympic gold seems further than ever. Just, what has gone wrong?

The public interest in sports is still evidently present. The budget allocated to develop the talents is available. Maybe, just a big maybe, the way to use the budget and who should helm that budget use might need to be looked into.

Lets take a look at the gold medalists in the Asian Games, and especially the sports they won gold in. Squash, karate and sailing. 

These sports are nowhere in comparison in terms of popularity compared to soccer , badminton , hockey etc. And do sports like sailing have a bigger budget allocation than soccer? I don’t think so.

So just why is sailing able to bring success while Malaysia soccer standard is dwindling?

I believe a review of the management at helm need to be done. The enthusiasm of Khairy Jamaluddin as the Sports Minister seems to breath fresh air into Malaysian sports. He is someone who walks the talk, thus we should fully support him as he has indicated he will fully take charge of the new programmes ahead of the Singapore Sea Games.

All sports organisation should have a review and a proper transparent Key Performance Indicator (KPI) should be charted out for each level of management, and made public. Thus, if they fail to deliver, the should step down gracefully and let others with merit to take over.

Grassroots levels at schools should be tackled as well. There are many cases whereby true sports talents are often forsaken in favor for those with connections to within. Politics at this level are dangerous and should be eradicated as we may just miss out on the next Lee Chong Wei or Pandelela Rinong.

Back to the recent concluded Asian Games, its glitter is somewhat smeared by six number of doping cased. Sadly too out of the six, one involved Malaysian Tai Cheau Xuen who had her gold medal in wushu was stripped for tested positive in sibutramine. This caused shockwaves especially as this concerns a sport not known for endurance and power but more to coordination and grace.

Just why would a wushu exponent take sibutramine to excel in her sport? If you Google the drug name, you will associate it with slimming diets and not any performance enhancing product etc. And how does a drug make you excel in a sport like wushu?

Athletes take drugs to make them run faster , stronger or run longer, but how does it helps in a sports like wushu? I really think a proper investigation needs to be conducted.  And in the meantime please spare some support and thoughts to Miss Tai.

The management of athletes need to be reviewed. If needed, conduct periodic doping tests to ensure all our athletes are clean prior sending them to competition.  After the shame of the 4x400 athletes in the last SEA Games, it seems the lesson was not learnt.

Its time to review , revamp and recharge the Malaysian sports. 

Malaysia Boleh, albeit let’s just make it Boleh for the right reason. Malaysia Boleh!

> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Tags / Keywords: Proper, revamp, MIKE CHONG YEW CHUAN

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