Malaysia won "gold" at the London Olympics. Read about the expose in The Malay Mail on Tuesday to know what transpired at the games, a year late but it's a shame.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Having been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons for the past week, hurdler Noraseela Khalid stepped forward to shed light on the purported lobbying for her to be included into the Myanmar SEA Games contingent.
There have been reports attributed to National Sports Council Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong lambasting the Malaysian Athletics Federation for not including Noraseela and Lee Hup Wei, stating that the duo had contributed to Malaysian athletics and should be in the squad for the SEA Games.
“To be honest I never did lobby to be included into the team for the SEA Games,” clarified Nooraseela.
“I know my physical condition and I thought I could record a good time at the Malaysian Open but failed to do so.
“Hence I did not qualify to be sent on merit and I respect the decision taken by the MAF.
“Therefore I do not know why a big fuss is being created about the SEA Games as really I should be looking beyond that.”
Noraseela said that she has met up with the NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong and MAF President Dato Zainal Abidin to inform them of her plans.
“When I said that I wanted to go to South Africa, I meant that I want to use that stint not only to improve myself physically but also to pursue my further studies,” clarified Nooraseela when met at the CGF Baton Run at the Lake Gardens.
“The plan is to get into shape and try to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games next year.
“I have time to recover from my injuries and get back into shape as well to launch one last hurrah for my athletics career.
“I need the support of all parties, be it the NSC, NSI, OCM and MAF and I am hoping that they will make a good decision for my career, as running is in my blood and I want to be in top physical shape before running at international meets.”
Despite being left to fend for his own, 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalist G. Saravanan proved that not only is he an athlete that wins gold medals but also showed that he has a heart of gold.
For the walker donated his 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medal to the Olympic Council of Malaysia museum with hope that another athlete will deliver gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Saravanan bagged the gold medal through the 50km men's big walk event at the Commonwealth Games 1998 to create a record as no Malaysian had never been able to win any medal in athletics at the Commonwealth Games.
It remains a moment etched in the minds of millions of Malaysian glued to the television sets as 50km walk gold went to Saravanan, as he overhauled longtime leaders Craig Barrett and Tim Berrett from New Zealand and Canada respectively to cross the finish line.
“Until today I still get goose bumps thinking of that moment as it was truly an historic moment for the country,” said Saravanan.
“I remember the then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad challenging the athletes to win Malaysia’s 10th gold medal and that kept me going.
“This medal has been lying in my cupboard for the last 15 years and I think its time that it helps others inspire them to bring glory to the nation.
“I want it to be placed in the museum so that others can also relate to the win, especially those from athletics as we have not won a gold medal since 1998 in athletics. Hopefully this will inspire the athletes to deliver the goods as we could do with a revival of sorts in athletics.”
Saravanan was employed as a coach with the National Sports Council until 2012 when his contract was not renewed. Though he did not want to elaborate much, one could sense that Saravanan is bitter at the way he was treated.
“I am happy at what I have achieved and I do some coaching on my own so that’s enough for me,” added Saravanan.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin will hold discussions with the national sports associations with regards to sending athletes who have not made it on merit to the SEA Games in Myanmar this December.
Citing the decision of the Malaysian Athletics Federation, who opted not to list “senior” athletes who failed to meet the qualifying mark for the SEA Games, Khairy said that he needed to gather viewpoints of the affected NSA’s before making a final decision.
“At first I was inclined to follow the suggestion by the NSC with regards to sending athletes who have served the nation well in the past,” said Khairy.
“But seeing the stand adopted by MAF, I feel it is necessary to hold discussions on this matter.
“There are two different stands taken, while the NSC feel these athletes still have it within them to deliver, MAF feel otherwise.
“So the best way out of this stalemate is to hold discussions and come to a common stand, and as a Minister I will listen to both sides and also gather views from others.”
Noraseela Khalid and Robani Hassan failed to make the 39-name shortlist by MAF and the NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong was reported to have said that NSC were willing to fund their participation.
“Frankly I am more inclined towards developing the youth, but at times the experienced athletes deliver when it matters most,” said Khairy.
“Thus we need to weigh the options properly and put sentiments aside and look at the bigger picture. While development is important so are results and the public will be looking at medals at the SEA Games.
“I am willing to pay for athletes who can deliver at the SEA Games but at the same time need views of the national sports associations first.”
Under the Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) criteria for major games, the Category A and B were introduced, namely to allow athletes who qualify on merit to be listed under Category A and athletes who did not make the cut, be listed under Category B.
The cost of participation for athletes under Category A will be borne by the OCM while the respective National Sports Associations will have to bear the cost of sending athletes under Category B.
However, if athletes under Category B win a gold medal, their expenditure will be reimbursed by OCM while athletes who win a silver medal will have a part of their expenditure reimbursed by the OCM.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Pahang hold a two-goal advantage going into the second leg of the Malaysia Cup semi finals against Sarawak. But they are not letting their guard down as they are well aware of the pitfalls that await them in Kuching should they be complacent.
Rather then thinking that his team has one foot in the final, manager Zainal Abidin Hassan wants his players to think of the second leg as a totally new game, putting aside the advantage they hold, and play with passion and vigor they showed in the first half of the semi final last Saturday.
“We cannot take anything for granted and we must remain focused on the task at hand,” said Zainal.
“There is no such thing as a certainty until the final whistle blows in the second leg and we will try our level best to make it to the final.
“All I want is for the players to reproduce their form like they played in the first 45 minutes in Kuantan.
“If they can do that then the battle is half won. Sarawak will come at us with guns blazing and we must be wary of that.”
Pahang took the lead in the 29th minute when Gopinathan picked up a rebound from his own shot to put it past keeper Sani Kamsani.
They doubled their advantage four minutes later as Azamuddin Akil’s header sailed into goal and Sarawak knew they were in deep trouble.
A blunder by Sani presented Matias Conti the third goal in the 28th minute and although Sarawak pulled a goal back via Shahrol Saperi, it was not enough to salvage anything from the match.
Sarawak were without Ronny Harun (injury) and Joseph Kalang Tie (suspended) in the vfirst leg and coach Robert Alberts will be happy to have the duo back.
But the solitary away goal could well spur Sarawak in the second leg as they need a two goal win to make it through to the final.
Hence Zainal’s warning to put on hold any celebrations.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The mind games started almost immediately after Kelantan and Armed Forces booked their semis spot in the Malaysia Cup.
The psychological warfare went into high gear with Kelantan insinuating that ATM refused to play the match at a bigger Stadium, in Shah Alam and claimed that their opponents feared their supporters – the Red Army.
But for Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan, the mind games is something normal before a cruncher, and the former national coach would not get into a discussion as to why they opted for the smaller Selayang Stadium to host the first leg match this Friday.
“My players prefer playing at Selayang and I concurred with them. It is a question of numbers as to familiarity of the playing ground and there is nothing wrong opting for something that we are used to,” contends Sathianathan.
Armed Forces advanced to the semifinals after overcoming Lions XII 4-2 on aggregate while Kelantan overpowered Johor Darul Takzim 8-5, to book their berth. The two teams met in the Malaysia Cup final last year with Kelantan emerging the eventual winners and ATM will surely be gunning for revenge.
“It is a game of 180 minutes of football and Friday will just be the first half. I will be happy with a win and there is no such thing as having an advantage of goals as Kelantan have shown that they are a great attacking team when playing at home,” added Sathia.
“But the difference is that my team too are able to net goals away from home and a win at Selayang will give us the psychological boost for the return leg in Kota Baru.”
Sathia will no doubt be counting on the likes of Hairuddin Omar and the prolific Marlon James to get the goals.
They also boast of a strong engine room with Christie Jayaseelan, Rezal Zambery Yahaya, Mohd Fitri Omar and Argentinian Bruno Martelotto pulling the strings in midfield.
Kelantan on the other hand are one of the most consistent sides having won seven honours since 2010.
They won the Malaysia Cup, Super League and the FA Cup last season and retained the FA Cup in June.
“It is a pity that one of the teams will not make the finals of the Malaysia Cup as I think that ATM and Kelantan are the two best teams in the country presently,” said Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak.
“We have Daudsu Jamaluddin out as he underwent surgery and that somewhat will affect ou line up. But the players are jut raring to go and really the match will be close, as history shows that the matches are often decided by an odd goal.
“If I were in Sathia’s shoes, I too will play at a pitch that my team is familiar with and I respect him for the decision.
“The semis will be decided over two matches so we should not look into the result of the first leg, as there will be still 90 minutes to play in Kota Baru, our fortress.”
Kelantan will be counting on the likes of Mohd Badhri Radzi, Indra Putra Omar, Dickson Nwakaeme and Mohd Norfarhan Mohd to deliver the goods.
And Bojan is well aware that the foursome will be closely watched by the Armed Forces defenders.
Ironically the semis could well be the last time both Sathia and Bojan lead their teams out, provided they make the final as the duo have been linked to moves to Selangor and Penang respectively.
For the time being though, the focus is on the two leg semis, and another shot at glory.