Arivalagan ready to take on technical director role

PETALING JAYA: P. Arivalagan will accept the invitation to return to the national karate set-up as the technical director.

Arivalagan was the former chief coach from 2004-2011 but his contract was not renewed by the Malaysia Karate Federation (Makaf) as they opted for Latvian Andris Vasiljevs after that.

Makaf’s decision to reshuffle the entire coaching line-up of the national kumite team was prompted by the lack of big achievements over the last three years.

Except for retaining the overall title at the Philippines SEA Games in 2019 with four golds and four silvers, karate failed to meet the target to win gold at the Indonesia Asian Games in 2018 as they only managed one bronze medal.

Malaysia also missed out on the qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo when karate made its debut and at the Asian Karate Championships in Kazahkstan recently, they won a solitary bronze.

Arivalagan will have former internationals L. Kunasilan and possibly R. Puvaneswaran to assist him in the kumite team to revamp the training programme geared for the Vietnam SEA Games in Hanoi in May and Hangzhou Asian Games in September.

“I see it as my duty (return to the national body),” said Arivalagan, a seven-time SEA Games champion.

“It’s my responsibility when the country needs me and after all, I’ve been passionate about this sport my whole life. I will help rebuild and make our team a force to be reckoned with on the international front.

“I can’t comment more as I wait for my appointment to be finalised but there will surely be lots of things to work on later.”

Makaf will propose to the National Sports Council tomorrow for Arivalagan’s appointment.

The immediate challenge for the exponents will be the National Championships expected to take place in Kuala Lumpur end of next month, followed by the Asean meet in Cambodia in March.

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