KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) were taken to task for claiming that IAAF's High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in Bukit Jalil was not producing results because of a lack of quality coaches.
MAAU vice-president Karim Ibrahim said on Wednesday that one of the reasons why the Malaysian athletes are staying away from HPTC is because of the lack of good coaches.
Two coaches Victor Kuzine of Russia and Valeriy Kazakov of Uzbekistan were hired to train jump and sprints athletes at the centre.
HPTC director for Asia Mohd Musa Noor Mohd said at a press conference yesterday that both Kuzine and Kazakov are top class coaches.
Kuzine is world-class coach, who trained long jumper Arnaud (Casquette) of Mauritius, who is ranked between 10 to 12 in the world. He has also helped many athletes to qualify for World Championships and the Olympics.
The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) was impressed with Kuzine's training and he was brought from the HPTC in Dakar to Bukit Jalil,'' said Musa.
He added that Kazakov also has good coaching credentials as he trained Asian number one women and world number eight triple jumper Anastasiya Juravlleva of Russia.
How can MAAU make statement that HPTC in Bukit Jalil lacked top quality coaches and that is why the Malaysian athletes are staying away from the centre?
The allegation is baseless. We have only one national athlete sprinter Latif (Nyat) in the centre because the IAAF only approved one athlete from Malaysia,'' said Musa.
I wanted to have two but it's the IAAF decision. MAAU also said that Latif opted out of the HPTC because we did not provide him a coach is untrue.
Latif was supposed to train under Kazakov, however, he did not report for training. He personally told me that MAAU don't want him to train at the HPTC,'' said Musa.
MAAU also alleged that Latif was supposed to receive US$1,200 a month in scholarship to train at the centre but he only received US$100.
Musa said that there are 13 athletes in the HPTC and six of them received their scholarships from IAAF and seven from IOC (International Olympic Committees).
The grant for each athlete is US$1,200 a month and this includes accommodation, food, studies and others. However, each athlete only received US$100 as pocket money a month,'' said Musa.
Musa added that MAAU also alleged that HPTC is not benefiting the athletes and government should stop pumping money into the centre.
Musa clarified that IAAF paid 70% in funding for the centre, 20% is from the National Sports Council (NSC) and 10% from sponsors.
We want national athletes to make use of the facilities at the centre for free but instead Karim made baseless statement against HPTC. What is more surprising is that the MAAU president Datuk Seri Shahidan (Kassim) is one of the members on the HPTC executive board,'' said Musa.