Selangor Journal
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria speaking at a press conference after the Jalur Gemilang handover ceremony to the Malaysian contingent for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, on January 19, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA.

Be bold, give newcomers a break, revamp training programmes — OCM

BIRMINGHAM, Aug 9 — Training programmes for athletes in lawn bowls, diving and athletics need to be revamped after they produced underwhelming performances at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria feels that there is a need to stop relying on the existing athletes for the quadrennial Games in order to boost efforts to unearth new talent to represent the country in the future.

“The diving team that only recently won two bronze medals at the World Championships in Budapest failed to shine in the Commonwealth Games here.

“Younger divers from other nations proved that the training programmes in other countries, like England, Australia and Canada, had managed to produce many talented back-up athletes compared to us, who still keep banking on the same old divers,” he told a media conference about the performance of the national athletes here yesterday.

Not only did they fail to meet the one-gold target, but the diving camp also received a reality check when diving queen Datuk Pandelela Rinong failed to win a single medal for the first time since she began competing in the quadrennial Games at the 2010 edition in New Delhi, India.

Mohamad Norza said Malaysia Swimming also need to take a closer look at the development programmes for diving at various levels in preparation for major events like the 2024 Paris Olympics, 2023 and 2026 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China and Aichi-Nagoya, Japan respectively as well as the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Australia.

He also reiterated that Malaysia’s participation in athletics at the Commonwealth Games should be reviewed since none managed to perform up to expectations in Birmingham 2022.

“We must admit that our athletics squad are only at the SEA Games level and this needs to change to enable them to compete at a higher level,” he added.

He said national high jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa did not put up a determined performance here when he could only clear 2.05 metres (m), while discus thrower Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin failed to improve on his personal best and Andre Anura Anuar failed to register a mark in men’s triple jump.

Meanwhile, National Sports Council (NSC) Athletes Division director Jefri Ngadirin said there was a need to review the lawn bowls team’s overseas training stint since they failed to produce the desired results despite spending a month in Birmingham prior to the Games.

He added that perhaps such overseas training stints were no longer relevant and they need to find a new formula to get the lawn bowlers back firing again and be in the mix for gold in Victoria.

“I hope the lawn bowls squad will be bold enough to give newcomers an opportunity. I believe they still have a good coaching structure because they were the ones who guided the national teams to success in Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018,” he said.

In Birmingham 202, the national lawn bowls squad were set a one-gold target but only managed to get one silver in women’s triples (Nur Ain Nabilah Tarmizi-Syafiqa Haidar Afif Abdul Rahman-Azlina Arshad) and one bronze in women’s singles (Siti Zalina Ahmad).

The national contingent clinched seven golds, eight silvers and eight bronzes in Birmingham 2022 to end up 10th in the overall medal standings.

This equalled their seven-gold achievement at the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, Australia.

— Bernama

Top Picks

Don’t follow Fed, focus on domestic inflation, IMF tells Asian central banks

Dubai airport to resume full operations within 24 hours

No more English FA Cup replays beginning 2024-25 season