Ridzuan longs for ‘father’ by his side at Paris 2024

Father figure: Ridzuan sharing his happiness with coach Jeganathan after winning the Paralympics gold in 2016.

PETALING JAYA: National sprinter Ridzuan Mohd Puzi has made an emotional plea to reinstate R. Jeganathan as his coach as he aims to compete in the 2024 Paris Paralympics.

Jeganathan has been dropped by the National Sports Council (NSC) as one of the coaches under the Podium Programme.

“Coach Jega is like a father to me, and we have achieved so many things together. I did tell him that we must go together to Paris 2024,” said the 34-year-old.

“I hope I can continue training under him. That’s what I wish for.”

Ridzuan and Jeganathan have worked together since 2008 and won several accolades that had made the nation proud.

The biggest moment was winning the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics gold medal and also the IPC World Championships in 2015.

NSC Paralympics department director Mohd Sofian Hamzah admitted that Jeganathan’s name was initially dropped as they did not renew the contract of coaches above 60 years old but they have now decided to review the decision.

“The discussion is still open. We have not made a final decision. We’re looking at the pros and cons and researching what’s needed for the athletes,” said Sofian.

“An appeal letter has been sent, and we are reviewing it.

“Due to budget constraints, we had to look at many factors. We’re just waiting for direction from the top management of NSC.”

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