PETALING JAYA: The national karate exponents are crying foul over a sudden decision on not to retain P. Arivalagan as coach. And some of them are planning to quit if the Malaysia Karate Federation (Makaf) exco endorse the decision.
The Makaf technical committee, chaired by the federation’s deputy president, Datuk Mohd Noor Nordin Abdullah, made a surprise decision not to renew Arivalagan’s coaching contract even though he had led the team to much success during his tenure, including a best-ever Asiad performance in Guangzhou last November.
Arivalagan personally conveyed the news to the exponents yesterday.
Guangzhou Asiad silver medallist and two-time SEA Games champion G. Yamini was left shell-shocked on hearing the news.
“This comes out of the blue. It is unfair that this is happening to the coach when he has built up a team,” said Yamini, who has been in the national team for eight years.
“I remembered there were only three of us in full-time training when he took charge sometime in 2003.
“He has helped Malaysian karate to be a respected force on the international stage and I can’t believe this happening now. If he is out, there is no point for me to stay on. I will quit the sport.”
Another long-serving exponent, Vasantha Marial, who is the only Malaysian to have emerged as Asian champion twice, said that it was disheartening for everyone to hear this type of news at the beginning of the year.
“How can such a decision be made without them coming to talk to us. We are the ones who fight for the country and we have to deliver results,” said the bronze medallist at the 2006 Doha Asiad.
“I hope they will not follow through with what they are doing as this will wipe out all the good work that was established all these years.
“I feel sad for the coach. I was down after I failed to make the final of the 2006 Asian Games but he persuaded me to continue. I managed to come back and won a second Asian championships title. I feel his services should not be disregarded just like that. I have read this type of things happening in badminton and taekwondo but I never thought it would happen in karate too.”
Jamaliah Jamaludin, who bagged a silver in her Asian Games debut in Guangzhou, was also distraught on hearing the news and said that she also planned to leave the team if Arivalagan were no longer the coach.
“The coach is everything to me. It takes time to adjust to a new coach and his methods,” said the 2009 Laos SEA Games gold medallist.
“I trust he knows what is good for me. He brought me up from being a national champion to an Asian Games medal winner.”
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