Saturday, February 06, 2016

WILL PODIUM DO THE TRICK?

Malaysia’s Podium Programme

 

Congratulations to the young and energetic Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports, The Hon. Mr. Khairy Jamaluddin, for the successful, inspiring and motivational launch of the Malaysia’s Podium Programme for Malaysian sports.

 

The objectives of the Podium Programme are quite straightforward: 

• win Malaysia’s first Olympic Games gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,
• restore top 10 finish in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games, 
• have 10 athletes in world top 6 ranking and 
• sustainable sporting excellence beyond 2020.  

 

The above programme is a safe and no-fail programme, because the objectives have always been there and have been achieved in the past and will be achieved with or without the Podium Programme. 

 

The first objective of winning Malaysia’s first Olympic Games gold medal is not realistic. Why not in Rio 2016 Olympic Games?  For 2016, there is Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, who has a realistic chance of winning the Badminton Singles gold medal. 

 

By 2020, with the retirement of Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, there is really no Badminton player in sight, (compared to the young players of Japan, China, etc.), who has the potential to win the gold medal.  It is the same with other sports, although if Karate is approved for Tokyo 2020, there are hopes.  Can the Podium Programme produce an Olympic Games gold medal in 2020, when Malaysia has even given up hope for winning in 2016, even before the Olympic Games? 

 

The table below show the medal tally of the Malaysia Contingent in the last 5 Asian and Commonwealth Games from 1998 to 2014.

 

 

    COMMONWEALTH GAMES

          ASIAN GAMES

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

      Rank*

Gold

Silver 

Bronze

      Rank*

 

 

 

 

Gold

Total

 

 

 

Gold

Total

2014

6

7

6

12

12

5

14

14

14

13

2010

12

9

14

5

5

9

18

14

10

10

2006

7

12

10

8

7

8

17

17

11

9

2002

7

9

18

8

7

6

8

16

12

10

1998

10

13

12

4

4

6

10

14

11

11

• Rank: Gold - based on total gold medal tally.
• Rank: Total – based on total medal tally.

 

The table above shows that except for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Malaysia was ranked in the top 10 from 1998 to 2010, in both gold medal tally and total medal tally, with the best ranking being in 1998 when Malaysia was the host. For the Asian Games, the best ranking was 10 in the 2010 Asian Games with the worst in 2014 with a ranking of 14. If the ranking is based on total medal tally, then Malaysia is in the top 10 in 3 out of the 5 recent Asian Games, with one ranking of 11.  

 

As such the targets set by Podium Programme for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games are too low, as they have already been achieved in past Games. A more realistic target would be not to consider the ranking, but to use a target of 15 gold medals and 50 total medals, or ranked 8thand 9th for the Malaysian Contingent in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games, respectively. The reason for this is that the Podium Programme is a massive programme with at least 70 staff, comprising experts in all fields, both foreign and local, while in the past Games, the same targets were achieved without very much less staff and budget. 

 

The third objective of having 10 athletes in world top 6 ranking is also rather vague as Malaysia has already achieved more than this target today.  The athletes who have achieved 6th place or better world ranking are Dato’ Nicol David, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, Divers, Track cyclists Azizulhasni, Archers, Lawn Bowls athletes, Sepaktakraw athletes, Karate athletes, etc. Here again the Podium Programme has set itself a target that has been achieved over the last 10 years at least. 

 

The condition that proven medallists in the Olympic, Asian and Commonwealth Games would be included in the Podium Programme, is rather puzzling.  Although they are proven medallists, some of them could be past their prime by 2018 and 2020. The terms and conditions for young and promising athletes, who are not proven medallists in the Olympic, Asian and Commonwealth Games, for inclusion in the Podium Programme, have not been specified.  This may well prove to be the Achilles’ heel of the Podium Programme

 

In the case of Team Sport, the Men’s Hockey team has won medals in past Commonwealth Games and Asian Games (not gold).  They have the potential of achieving a podium finish in the Cold Coast and in Jakarta.  Any chance of the Men’s Hockey Team being included? 

 

In conclusion, except for objective 1, winning the Olympic Games gold medal in 2020, the Podium Programme is a NO FAIL programme, for reasons stated above.  At the end it would be really difficult to evaluate and as such it would be deemed to be a success. To be fair, if any evaluation is to be done in 2020, it should be based on the amount of funds spent on the Programme and the returns on investment, based on realistic and challenging targets and not on the targets set by the Podium Programme itself. 

 

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

CHONG WEI BREAKS SILENCE

"* I play for myself and the country. So I take defeats seriously no matter what the critics may say."

That was what Dato Lee Chong Wei said in what was his first public appearance after his qualifying round exit at the Korean Open two weeks ago.

The former world number one was present to sign up for Petsling Jaya Badminton Club for the forthcoming season of the Malaysian Purple League on November 4.

" No one wants to lose and it's no different for me. At times things ( surprise defeats) happen and there can be no way to explain, " said Chong Wei who sat out of last seasons MPL as he was undergoing a doping suspension.

" My coaches, Hendrawan and Tey Seu Bock have been putting me through drills to sharpen my play and iron out chinks in my armour.

" I have a tight schedule over the next two months and need to redouble my efforts".

When asked about his frosty relationship with BAM Technical Director Mortern Frost, Chong Wei said he would rather not comment.

" I am happy to represent Petaling Jaya BC as Yogendran and I go back a long way as friends," added Chong Wei.

Petsling Jaya BC were given a pleasant surprise when KLRC Chairman stepped up to provide them with a RM1 million sponsorship.

" I feel that PJBC have a good set-up and will do well, " said KLRC Chairman Dato Sri Andrew Kam.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

TOUGH TIMES

The 24th edition of the Azlan Shah Cup gets underway in Ipoh from April 5-12.

But rather then provide information, the organisers have opted for a cold shoulder treatment to this website which has provided comprehensivecoverage over the past four years.

Request for information such as team lists and other tournament info has been ignored making it tough to get in touch with coaches to get their views on team chances.

Rather then fret over what is largely an incompetent organisation that runs plagiarised stories on their website, we will strive to do our best to provide coverage for the thousands of fans out there.

National associations and hockey writers can lift our stories but please credit accordingly so that those paid mega bucks will not lay claim that it was their effort.

So follow us at the website and Twitter to get the best coverage of the event.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

EIGHT SHORTLISTED FOR NSC DG POST

Eight individuals have been shortlisted for interview for the position of the National Sports Council Director General.

The interviews will be held next Tieday with a decision made by Thursday when the NSC Board holds its meeting.

According to insiders, the interviews are to be conducted by the Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin himself and he is expected to table the decision to the NSC Board as provided for the NSC Act 1971.

Among those shortlisted are current SportsCommissioner Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, former Sports Ministry Secretary General Salim Parlan, Ireland Badminton CEO Richard Vaughan and National Foitball Development Program board member Dr. Hamdan Ali.

The other four candidates are said to be academicians 

For the position of High Prrformance Director,  among those who applied is Damien  Kelly who headed the Doha 2006 Program.

However the interviews for that position will only be held in January.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BWF NAMES CHONG WEI

BWF ‘PROVISIONALLY SUSPENDS’ LEE CHONG WEI
 
Malaysian player, Lee Chong Wei, has been provisionally suspended by the Badminton World Federation due to an apparent anti-doping regulation violation.
 
The world-governing body has imposed this suspension due to an Adverse Analytical Finding of a sample taken at the BWF World Championships in August. The BWF has referred the matter to the BWF Doping Hearing Panel and, in due course, the Chair of the Panel will set the time, date and location of a hearing. The Panel will determine whether or not the athlete has committed an anti-doping regulation violation.
 
In accordance with Clause 14.4.1 of the BWF Anti-Doping Regulations, and following the imposition of the provisional suspension, the BWF and the member association – the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) – are now able to publicly identify the player involved in this matter.
 
The Provisional Suspension (Clause 7.6.2) means the athlete is barred temporarily from participation in any competition prior to the BWF Doping Hearing Panel’s decision.  
 
There will be no further comment from the BWF regarding this matter until the BWF Doping Hearing Panel makes its determination.
 
-----
 
 
Regards
 
Gayle Alleyne
Communications

Monday, November 10, 2014

MY STORY PART 2 BY LEE CHONG WEI

Part 2 of Worldwide Exclusive

Having shared his thoughts last Saturday, world number 1 Lee Chong Wei now shares on how he is coping with the entire episode with Satwant Singh Dhaliwal.

In this second exclusive interview, Chong Wei reveals his appreciation to fans and media and also to those helping him in these trying times.

Kindly note that I neither work nor am employed by Chong Wei but am a close friend since 2000. We share conversations and I have his permission to write these articles.

Lee Chong Wei is handling all the pressure the best way he can. By hitting the courts and working it off.

Resigned to the fact that he needs to allow the experts compile his case against the doping allegation, the World Number 1 has not allowed the episode to affect him physically.

"I am back on the court training and also do my physical conditioning daily as life has to go on as I await the decision made by BWF," said Chong Wei.

"It has been more then a month since this episode began and I have decided to concentrate on training and maintain my fitness level.

"I am truly grateful to all the messages of support and also thank the media for respecting my wish for privacy.

"Hence I am training at a private facility and my friends help spar with me in order to keep me company.

"I guess with my provisional suspension it's the best arrangement that I stay away from the national training centre."

Chong Wei reiterated his confidence in Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to help overcome this episode.

"At times I ask myself how this could happen to me given the fact that I am very careful with what I consume," added Chong Wei.

"My focus now is on saving my playing career and towards that I leave my fate in the hands of the experts to help prepare my case.

"It is an emotional roller coaster but as I said the best therapy for me is hitting the shuttle on the court."

Chong Wei added that he was hoping for a positive outcome.

"As I said before I have done nothing wrong and I maintain my innocence," he added.

"Thus its best that I do what I do best - get back on to the court and train and hope things work out for the best."


Note: No part of this article is to be reproduced either in parts or in writing without the written permission of the author Satwant Singh Dhaliwal. Kindly credit the blog should permission be granted in writing.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

MY STORY BY LEE CHONG WEI

In what is a world wide exclusive, the number one shuttler in the world Lee Chong Wei breaks his silence as he shares his thoughts with Malaysian Sports Blogger Satwant Singh Dhaliwal on the alleged doping scandal that has plagued him.

This article is based on a series on conversations held before and after the B Sample was tested and the results are yet to be made public.

Read on....

"My knees wobbled and I could neither stand nor sit down as I read the letter notifying me that I had failed a doping test," said Chong Wei, his voice choking with emotion.

"I saw my entire life flash by me, the whole last 15 years just going up in smoke. I was devastated and just did not know what to do.

"I have never cheated not even made any attempt to cheat thus this was like a bolt of lightening, destroying everything I had worked so hard for.

"I am a firm believer of hard work and effort to achieve success so such an allegation left me speechless and dumbfounded."

Chong Wei said that it was his wife Wong Mew Choo that suggested that they take a break overseas to clear his mind and also leave it to the authorities to get into the bottom of the matter.

"The Sports Minister took charge personally and for that I am grateful as he guided me and gave me good advice on how to handle matters," added Chong Wei.

"I was informed that the drug was last injected into me on July 18 and how the traces were still there in August is something I cannot explain.

"Suffice to say I never took any drugs beyond those prescribed to me and deny any suggestions that I resort to traditional herbs that contain banned substance.

"I went through an out of competition test on August 15and it was all clear. So it is indeed a mystery why this substance was found in my system in August 30."

The national icon said that many a time he had wanted to come out and make a public statement but opted to wait till the B sample was tested.

"I hope the public understands my position and situation. I must reiterate that everything is being done to clear the air and to get to the root of the problem," added Chong Wei.

"I went to Oslo to observe the B sample bottle being opened and go through the documentation to satisfy myself.

"I know the possibility of it being different is remote but it is a procedure that needs to be done.

"All my medications, treatment records and supplements are being treated by the authorities who hope to find out how the substance was still in my system more then a month after I last received the injection for treatment of my thigh injury."

Though it looks bleak, Chong Wei is hoping that BWF will evaluate all evidence presented should the B sample be positive as well.

There has been speculation that Chong Wei could either receive a severe reprimand or be suspended for a period of six months.

A six month suspension will mean that shuttler will lose some 43,000 out of his 97,000 odd current ranking points and he will slip to a world ranking of 15-18 by March 2015.

"We will cross the bridge when we come to it I guess," added Chong Wei.

"At the moment I am confined to my house and have not even thought of returning to the courts yet.

"There are so many unanswered questions and I hope to clear my name soon.

"I never cheated nor will I ever rely on banned substances."

And the entire world badminton fraternity can only pray that things end up well for Chong Wei.

Failing which the Road to Rio will merely remain an illusion for Malaysia to win its first ever gold medal at the Olympics.

Note; No part of this article is to be reproduced in any form, written or expressed without the consent of the author.


Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAY

It was supposed to be the curtain raiser for what is said to be the most important domestic hockey competition in the country.

In reality it was a case of same shit different day as far as the manner in which the match was held.

Put aside that the quality was low but the entire organizational structure of the match revealed that the MHC is only concerned in wearing corporate shirts and basking in glory to project individuals who are vying for seats in the forthcoming elections.

It was a good gesture that MHC honored former national coach C. Para malignant with a cake for his 80th birthday. But where is the consistency?

The legendary William Fidellis turned 80 last week and the boys from NS Sikh Union held a birthday bash for him, and not even the Negeri HA or MHC did anything for person who spent his major part of his life contributing to hockey with his two sons Derek and Gary even donning national colours.

Some sikh boys appreciated the efforts of William but the NSHA officials were basking in glory at national level, with a could not care less attitude about what's happening in their own backyard!

Back to the charity shield and in the 90's the match saw even umpires paying RM1 to gain entry to the stadium for the match as the money raised went to a selected charity.

But today MHC can not even get fans to the stadium let alone do something charitable.

That goes on to show that it was just a parade to show sponsors that branding was done, match was played and wide grins all around.

Who cares if the performances on the pitch was akin to azalea KL league match, with extra officials and players sitting on steps next to team benches!

Let the circus move on, the big top has perched it's tent as the clowns rule the day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

BAND OF BROTHERS

There used to be a TV series titled the Band of Brothers.

Perhaps that was how the notion to build a group called Brotherhood was formed within the confines of the national hockey body.

This revelation surfaced lately after the Commonwealth Games debacle and although MHC had formed a panel to investigate the issues that caused the last placing in the World Cup, the report was never made public.

It seems that the Brotherhood, backed by a senior official conspired to rid the national coach of his responsibilities and had the clout to determine who coached them to the Asian Games.

Such was their strength that they could even get to determine who replaces who in the national set up.

And is the country so short of talent that we needed to bring in a foreigner as an Assistant Coach?

The fact is there is a mastermind behind all these and that person stooped so low to destroy the national agenda so as to enhance his position.

It was the "kampung" mentality that is the cancer of Malaysian Hockey and unless stemmed, the rule of "Brotherhood" will continue to prevail.

The fact that some top civil servants have also given backing to this grand plan is worrying as hockey is headed to a dark dimension with no light at the end of the tunnel.

There is no place for honest hardworking and passionate individuals as the Brotherhood has virtually done the same as the infamous 102 group that surfaced many years ago.

And do the states care? As so long as they can fill the President's ears with far fetched tales of deceit and contempt about some individuals, they warm the seats.

By the way what has happened to all the show cause letters issued to the former national coach, the two Vice Presidents and the star striker?

One player who turned his back on the nation was even given a release to play in the Hong Kong league when his reasons were "rest" to stay out of the team.

Whoever issued the release should be issued a show cause letter.

Or will someone else be issued a show cause for not acting on these show causes?

Or is it a case of "close one eye". 

MOVING FORWARD

It is understood that in an unprecedented move, Sports Minister has decided on open recruitment for the job of DG MSN. Khairy has spoken to the Chief Secretary to the Government to see if he can advertise for applicants openly. Something rarely done for heads of government agency. "The open recruitment process will ensure only the most qualified will apply and be interviewed," said a source at KBS. This means even internal candidates will be put through a rigorous interview process. And there may be surprised from outside the system from the private sector. Asked about internal candidates, "Of course Shapawi is a front runner given his years of experience at MSN. But he will have to apply just like anyone else. If he gets the job, it will be because he made the best case during the interview process."