MAF run out of patience

Good potential: Budding sprinter Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi needs to train under a good coach to improve further.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk Karim Ibrahim has had enough with the National Sports Council (NSC) for making empty promises.

He took a swipe at the governing body for their failure to hire American coach David Patrick after agreeing to name him as the national chief coach in January.

Karim said the deal fell through because NSC director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail did not follow up on it.

“They prolonged the matter and did not take enough initiatives to sign up the American,” said Karim.

“We wanted the services of Patrick because we want to win medals at the Philippines SEA Games (from Nov 30-Dec 11), form a solid team for the 2022 Asian Games and rebuild the grassroots development programme.

Karim said the presence of Patrick would also have helped raise the standard of budding sprinters like Muhammad Azeem Mohd Fahmi and Azreen Nabila Alias.

The 15-year-old Azeem of Perak has impressive times of 10.63 (100m) and 21.24 (200m), which he achieved in record-breaking style at the National Schools (MSSM) in Johor Baru last month.

The 19-year-old Azreen also broke the women’s 100m record by setting 11.81 at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Ipoh last year.

Karim questioned NSC’s agenda.

“What the NSC are really up to? They talk about long-term development programmes but don’t want to hire highly qualified coaches that the MAF have recommended,” he said.

“The NSC are more interested in hiring coaches from Russia and China, who have no proper documents to justify their credentials.

Due to the U-turn decision, Karim said Patrick has deemed Malaysia as unprofessional.

“Patrick is annoyed with us. He says that there is no professionalism in the way we hire coaches in Malaysia,” said Karim.

MAF are now turning to renowned American coach Dwayne Miller, who coaches sprinters, jumpers and multi-event athletes, for help.

“He is a creditable coach, who has guided his athletes to win five world championship medals and three Olympic gold medals,” he said.

Among the notable athletes Miller has coached include LaShawn Merritt (400m, 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 World Championship gold medallist), LaTasha Colander Clark (4x400m relay, 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist) and Rachelle Boone-Smith (200m, 2005 World Championship silver medallist).

And this time, Karim is hoping for the NSC to get it right by hiring Miller.

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