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Tuesday January 1, 2013

Reporters’ wish list for 2013

THE London Olympics in August was a high for Malaysian sports last year with Lee Chong Wei winning silver in badminton and diver Pandelela Rinong bagging a bronze. And of course, there’s bowler Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek becoming the first Malaysian to win the AMF World Cup. Squash icon David Nicol won a record seventh world title. What’s in store for 2013? On this very first day of the new year, Starsport’s reporters share with readers their wish list for sports in the country.

> BRING in committed and vibrant new leaders who are prepared to bring radical changes to the respective national sport associations. Those holding positions in national associations and not contributing positively towards the growth and development of the sport should do the noble thing to step down.

> ENGLISH stint for coaches. Malaysian owners of English clubs – Tan Sri Vincent Tan (Cardiff City) and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (Queens Park Rangers) should take in Malaysians on their team’s coaching staff since the European Union do not allow our players to play for their clubs due to the country’s poor world rating.

> BAN article 88. FAM to be more broad minded and open to constructive criticisms and do away with “Article 88” which curbs the freedom of speech of coaches, players and officials in the M-league.

> EACH participating team in the M-league to assigned a police officer or private investigator to curb match-fixing. — Eric Samuel

> HOW about a Malaysian golfer winning an Asian Tour event as it’s been quite sometime since we had such a winner.

> ZULFAHMI Khairuddin to win his first race in Moto3 this year.

> THAT we can have a World Champion from an Olympic sport. — Lim Teik Huat

> PROMISING athletes should be given equal chances to showcase their talents without having to deal with biased, selfish and uncaring sports officials.

> HOPEFULLY, the agonising wait for a champion will end at this year’s World Championships in Guangzhou.

> LOOKING forward to more action on the field and less on the sidelines. ­— Rajes Paul

> HOPE to see the inclusion of squash in the 2020 Olympics.

> HOPING to see 23-year-old world No. 7 Low Wee Wern winning more titles and breaking into top five in the world.

> HOPE to see the athletes reach the nine-gold target set by new Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) president Datuk Zainal Abidin at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games in December.

> AND finally, the national hockey team under the guidance of South African coach Paul Revington, winning the Asia Cup in Ipoh in August to gain automatic qualification the 2014 World Cup. — Aftar Singh

> WOULD like to see the government reduce tax on sports equipment.

> HOPE multinational corporations build a strong ties with sports as it is proven that sports can generate a huge brand visibility. Think of road cyclists as a moving billboard.

> HOPE fewer politicians be involved in sports. Recruit the professionals. — Shamshul Fitri

> TO see squash at the 2020 Olympics. It would certainly do our world No. 1 Nicol David a great deal of justice and hopefully come September 2013, at Buenos Aires, the International Olympic Council (IOC) would make the right decision by including squash into the Games.

> TO see women’s national No. 2 Low Wee Wern carry on her great form and break into the top five in the world while promising juniors like Ng Eain Yow and S. Sivasangari continue to make vast improvement.

> TO see Malaysian basketball scale great heights this year. Basketball has so much untapped potential. For starters, let’s support Westports Malaysia Dragons and hope they win the Asean Basketball League (ABL). — Kng Zheng Guan

> Hope the M-League, going into its 19th year as a professional league, will be professionally run without teams owing money to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Socso and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

> To see the National Under-23 squad defend their SEA Games gold medal in Myanmar and the national senior side do well in the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers. — K. Rajan

> I HOPE to see other sports apart for badminton and squash step up and produce world class athletes.

> I HOPE there will be no more carrot and stick routine simply because wearing the Malaysian shirt is a privilege and the passion, drive and determination to succeed at the highest level should supersede any prize on offer.

> I WISH more parents will encourage their kids to pursue a career in sports. It’s unconventional, but it’s a serious and viable option. — Ashreena Pillai

> MALAYSIAN sports officials should be professional and not resort to crude back-stabbing methods to get what they want.

> DON’T aim for the sky (Olympics) when you cannot even be the best in South East Asia. So win at the SEA Games level especially in the Olympic events during the December Games in Myanmar.

> WOULD like to see officials and players be honest and speak their mind about their sport. Be critical if need be. It is time to give up such cliches such as “Will try my best”, “Played well but could not score” and “Lost to a better team”. — S. Ramaguru

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