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Friday, June 29, 2012

Chong Wei may celebrate in London


A month ago he almost quit his Olympic dream. The nation's sports fraternity was in anxiety when he tore his ankle ligament at the Thomas Cup.

His withdrawal against Denmark cost Malaysia the tie but honesty the Thomas Cup was probably the last thing on his mind. It was the Olympics. Malaysia's Olympic dream of winning the elusive gold medal was in jeopardy, if not in shatters.

For the record, even if Chong Wei was fit we wouldn't have won the Thomas Cup. The rest of the team are a bunch of no hopers.

For month or so Chong Wei didn't speak much of his chances and drew a sympathetic look as he said he could only try to be at his best.

When probed if psychological help was needed, Chong Wei insisted no help needed.

Fast forward a month since his injury, and Chong Wei is already speaking if winning the Olympic gold and that his injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
“I couldn’t accept it (the injury) at first but I realised it may work in my favour. There is less pressure and this allows me to give my best. If I do win the gold medal, it is for Malaysia as everyone has been waiting for it for so long.”
 And what about losing his World No. 1 status? LCW is losing no sleep over that either.
“I’m not paying much attention because it doesn’t really make much difference. My preparations have been the same and the goal’s to win the Olympics gold medal, not staying as No 1 in the world,”
All the best Chong Wei! Malaysia is behind you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Get your priority right BJSS!

Maybe it's time to re-look our policies for Sports Schools.

Till then, it may be in the interest of promising athletes to give it a miss.

Why? Ask Soong Joo Vern and Darren Isaac Devadas, for they had to quit Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) as the school was proving to be more of a hindrance than a supplement to their badminton careers.

Joo Vern and Darren took matters into their own hands after BJSS insisted they, along with Ho Yen Mei, should play in the Asean schools meet instead of the Asian Junior Championships (AJC) in South Korea.

Read Rajes Paul's commentary here.

Sadly Education Ministry Sports Director Ee Hong believes the school is right in doing so and that the Priority is the schools.

"We can't look at it that way. I see this as part of their development. It's a transition to play in the Asean level before progressing to the Asian level.It's only right they play for BJSS as they come from the school. It will allow Malaysia to showcase to the rest of the Southeast Asian countries that our sports schools are doing well," said Ee Hong

Do we have our priorities right?
Why is it that the Education Ministry's policy is that the schools be given priority instead of the country?
Why subject an athlete to a lower grade tournament instead of a much higher one?
Aren't the Sports Schools around to produce our next generation of athletes?

Those are questions to ponder.

I've heard that a certain sports school rejected a Form Five promising athlete a place in the school because it was already a SPM year for him and that the school didn't want their SPM stats to be affected.

Agreed, academic values should be instilled as well, but not at the expense of sports. To the school in concern, your KPI should be the talent you produce not SPM statisics.

I still feel Sports Schools should come under the purview of the Sports Ministry not the Education Ministry.

Click here to read previous posting on the matter. It's just another instance of a sports school being a hindrance.

Monday, June 18, 2012

He said, She said (Karim's Inquiry)

Pic above does not imply anything nor indicate such act occurred in the posting below.

Evidence is defined on as:-

1. -that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. -something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. -Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

At the on-going inquiry on the doping fiasco the Malaysian Amateur Athletics (MAF) and it's deputy president Karim Ibrahim are tangled in, evidence is one of the key factors that have suspended the supposedly four days trials until July 5.

Heading the independent inquiry panel is well respected former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri V.C. George. Even for man of his caliber, the evidence recorded may not be enough to reach a conclusive answer. He had admitted that there are two versions of the story and that they have yet to identify the right one. Read No end in sight for a recap.

and then after weeks or rather months of silence, a letter from a Bulgarian doctor named Gueorgui Ananiev Baldjiysky crops up to the attention of everyone. Read extracts of the letter in 'I never provided banned substances'

The Bulgarian along  Karim have been alleged to have conspired in giving relay runner Yunus Lasalleh performance enhancement drugs. Such accusation came from Yunus himself, supported by the coaches and other athletes.

With the lack of substantiated evidence, this could well be a case of Party A's words against Party B's.

I don't know which side of the story is true either but one thing I know is that whether Karim is found guilty or not, the athletes in concern (including the six who bolted from random tests) must be handed heavy sentences.

Yes mitigation is allowed but what good will it do for the sports fraternity. It will give birth, if already not present, to the finger pointing culture.

But if mitigation is not given much consideration, it will teach a lesson to athletes that they should be aware of what goes into their systems and to only take “medication” from those entrusted by ISN, and not even their coaches.

Mailsport's From the sidelines touches on this today. There should be No excuses by all parties.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Vote-buying' or Perks?

pic taken from Permatang Pauh by-election campaign poster

Vote-buying has been an issue our political scene have been battling for long. But what constitutes vote buying?

Can incentives and perks be construed as vote buying. If it is then it is illegal. But where do we draw the line? That's if we can, as it is surely a fine one.

Let's look at the situation at Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF)

It's president, Datuk Seri Shahidan, has long started the trend of handing out allowances/incentives/perks to its council members. It wasn't the case pre-2006. Now, he is crying foul that their impending AGM - which will see all top posts being contested - may have to deal with vote buying.

While he fell short of accusing anyone and some have even mentioned that this is one way of him staying in power longer.

Well the vote buying may be true - but then again what constitute vote buying?

Honestly, I'm dumbfounded on this. If someone gives you something in good will, then it shouldn't be vote buying right?

Two of the most out-speaking MAF council members have defended Shahidan and insist that all the hand-outs by Shahidan are done in good faith.

According to Malacca AAA secretary Rengan Pakkri and his Johor counterpart S. Rajasegram believes that Incentives are not 'vote buying'

I'm in the middle on this. Could someone please share some light?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Shape up or ship out BAM. Simple!

In Malaysia, one has three options too - shape up, ship out, or live in denial.

It wouldn't take a genius to decide which is the most followed. I see it a bit too often.

Former BA of Malaysia president Tan Sri Elyas Omar wants the current management to make way after failing to stop the slide in the sport and more importantly, failing to deliver.

Leave the Thomas Cup aside, many of us didn't pay much attention to it - as expected Malaysia failed to deliver.

We have the World No.1 in Lee Chong Wei but we also have one of the worst back-ups, if compared to other Badminton nations.

"They (BAM) shouldn't be given a second chance to improve the sport. They are accountable for the slide and as they fill a position of trust, they should give the public an explanation," said the former KL mayor.

Since they have failed to shape up despite knowing for several years that only Chong Wei can be relied upon, they should ship out no?

Sadly, as what Elyas had to say, it is not in our culture to vacate posts after failures.

"If we fail we got to change. Look at English Premier League teams. After few bad results, the manager is changed. We don't have that in our culture. People here are not embarrassed.

"If BAM can't bring back the glory days... back to the top 3 or 4 in the world.... then there should be changes in the organisation," he added.

So does Elyas Omar want to take helm at BAM once again? and maybe bring back the glory days?

That he said, is for the public to decide, not individuals. But he is more than willing to offer BAM his input for the betterment of the sport.

I have a question. What platform does the public have?

Read more about it in today's Malay Mail.

He also spoke on why the Thomas Cup is more important than the Olympics, which everyone has been so obsessed with hopes of Chong Wei winning the gold.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Take heed from Apple Inc.

Continuity and proper promotion.

Take that out, Apple Inc. wouldn't be the company it is today. It is purely through their marketing strategy and promotion that they've reached great heights and have iPhone crazy loyalists.

First it was iPhone, then iPhone3G..... and the list goes on to iPhone4s, which is the fifth generation. This ensures continuity. Some are already speculating on the release date of the next one.

The above two aspects need to be adapted by national sports associations (NSA).

Read From the Sidelines in today's Mailsport on Wither Malaysian Sports

Here's a crux of it. 

If we had a continuity plan in store, we won't be asking many questions.

Who’s going to take over from Chong Wei? Who is going to be our squash queen when Nicol David has passed her prime? Or more importantly, do we have enough strength to win team events?
Then I had Yong Hock Kin, Ong Ewe Hock, Wong Choong Hann, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah to emulate.
Who do the kids have now? Lee Chong Wei and Lee Chong Wei, and maybe, Lee Chong Wei.
No it wasn’t a typo error, you read that right. None of the rest in the national set-up deserve more than a passing mention.

Also some parties tend to down play the importance of having an up and running website, which is updated of course

The website of most NSAs are hopeless and cannot be relied on for information. MAF do not even have one, FAM’s gets hacked very often and then, there’re MHC...don’t even let me get started on them.
The just-concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is one fine example. Everything was smoothsailing until the third day of the tournament. Then, all hell broke loose as the media officer resigned after finding an official response to an incident indifferent to him.

click here to read more.