Age is no barrier to winning gold - Letters | The Star Online


Age is no barrier to winning gold

I REFER to the news report “82-year old weightlifter strikes gold again” (The Star, May 12).

It is just incredible and unbelievable that Ng Chow Seng, 82, again was able to win gold (his sixth time) in the 80-84 category after lifting 42kg in the snatch and 52kg in the clean and jerk at the Auckland World Masters Games recently – no octogenarian in Malaysia has ever achieved this feat before to my knowledge.

Many octogenarians like my father then (now deceased) were even unable to walk without a walker, let alone carrying 42 - 52kg weight!

Notwithstanding though, what is more amazing is that Ng eats like anyone of us - no special diet to follow.

His secret of success is apparently sheer discipline. Who on earth at his age could do it – daily training schedule from 5.30am to 9am and 4.30pm - 6.30pm (5½ hours) includes knee lifts of 1,200 repetitions.

I believe that not many of our SEA Games athletes are able to follow Ng’s training regimen. In fact, Ng should be roped in by the Sports Ministry to give the athletes some inspirational talks on how to strike more gold.

He has proven himself to be a disciplined and talented sportsman and he should be a role model ready to help and shape the athletes to live out their dreams of winning gold medals for Malaysia at the SEA Games.

Additionally, Ng could make the athletes believe that the only thing stopping them achieving their goals is themselves. The power within is the key to realise and fulfil their dreams, as with Lee Chong Wei, Nicol David and Azizul. They must learn to overcome their failures to make them stronger and more determined to reach their goals and they must be 100% fit and focused.

The government is splashing a lot of money on preparing the athletes for the SEA Games in August. They have allocated considerable funding hoping to amass a record number of gold medals. No doubt the powers that be are spending big and of course the rakyat expect the elites to also win big and to emerge champions in the Games.

Sport is central to who Malaysians are as a people who are united as one. We expect sports to set a positive example to all Malaysians about achievement, endeavour, courage, integrity, sportsmanship, healthy lifestyles and community cohesion of the diverse races, religions, cultures and status.

It also certainly enhances our standing on the world stage of sport.

I expect the elite athletes will feel obliged to deliver medals of any colour, as long as they strive and try their utmost so that they will go down in history as the real sports heroes of Malaysia, like our great uncle Ng Chow Seng.