Zhuliang gives his version of why contract wasn’t renewed

  • Diving
  • Friday, 22 Dec 2017

Personal account: Zhuliang revealed that relations between him and the NSI officer turned cold after the KL Games incident..

KUALA LUMPUR: Outgoing Malaysia diving coach Yang Zhuliang revealed that the interference of a National Sports Institute (NSI) officer during the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August led to his removal from the national set-up.

Zhuliang’s contract under the Podium Programme will end on Dec 31 as the NSI have decided not to extend it although the national team will be involved in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Jakarta Asian Games next year.

NSI cited that Zhuliang’s coaching methods are “old school” despite producing a world champion in Cheong Jun Hoong and Olympic medallists (Pandelela Rinong and Jun Hoong).

NSI, who handles the elite-only Podium Programme, have roped in Australian Christian Brooker to help run the national team with China’s Zhang Yukun.

Brooker, who have been involved in coaching the Australian junior team before, is expected to arrive next month.

The Chinese coach said relations between him and the NSI officer turned cold after the KL Games incident.

“Our diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri met with an injury when she was involved in the SEA Games opening ceremony.

“The NSI officer wanted her to withdraw from the SEA Games but I didn’t follow the order.

“I had asked our Youth and Sports Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) and National Sports Council director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail if it was okay for Dhabitah to compete as this was her home SEA Games and they concurred with me.

“The NSI officer was not happy that I used the Minister’s name and he made some remarks.

“I knew my time here will not be long and true enough, I learnt they are not renewing my contract.

“If they say they need someone who embraces sports science, then tell me if it really will make a big difference in diving.

“Look at the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico and other countries which heavily depend on sports science. All of them did not win gold at the Rio Olympics last year.

“China still won seven out of the eight gold medals,” said the 53-year-old coach, who first came to Malaysia in 2001 but left four years later for Australia.

He is now into his second stint with the Malaysian diving team since 2008.

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