London 2012 a failure for Malaysia?

Kegagalan.

That was the word used by former Mailsport journo Rizal Hashim during a phoner with Sukan Awani Ekstra on Astro Awani (ch 501) yesterday.

I was a guest on the said show as we discussed about Malaysia's performance at the 2012 Summer Games.

Rizal had plenty to say about the powers-that-be, mainly the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council to which I refrained from commenting and to only react by saying; "Ouch".

The Road to London 2012 programme - initiated by former Sports Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob - had the 'objective' of ending the gold medal drought. It was not meant to be but some insist the RM20 million programme has "reaped its benefits" as reported here.

Some may say Azizulhasni Awang failed to rise to the occasion but I know national cycling coach John Beasley would be happy with Azizulhasni's performance, given the fact that Azizulhasni bounced back from several setbacks prior the Olympics.

Also, the success of an athlete is not only measured by medals but also their personal achievement (timings, etc).

Pandelela Rinong was a sure bet of a podium finish simply because she has been performing well at the world stage. It is a shame her mother Hertini Lamin was not by her side during her fantastic feat - which surprised many to why Hertini flew back instead of sitting at the stands cheering on her daughter to begin with.

Also, there seems to be no effort of retaining Pandelela's coach Yang Zhuliang as the Sarawakian lass was quoted in The Star today as saying;

“I plan to follow my coach Yang Zhuliang to Australia. He has told us that he wants to return to his home in Australia,” said Pandelela, who had appealed to the National Sports Council to retain Yang's services.

Officials tend to hog the limelight and plonk their faces in front of the cameras claiming an athlete's achievement is based on their programmes but the same officials are no where to be seen when an athlete fails. Athletes and coaches are supposed to be accountable when things go wrong but what about officials who don't seem to shoulder any blame?

Are we supposed to be pleased of having only secured seven Olympic medals - 5 from badminton (1992, 1996, 2008 & 2012), one from diving (2012) and if we also include M.Vasugi's bronze medal in taekwondo which was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympics (NST's Devinder Singh pointed out Hii King Hung won the bronze medal in the taekwondo women's bantam which was also a demonstration sport at the 1992 Games. If medals from demonstration sports are included so we now have a total of 8 medals from Olympics) - despite the nation competing in the Summer Games since 1956?

Or are we a young nation that hungers for instant glory?

What is the objective for 2016 Games? If gold is not possible, then be upfront and form other realistic targets.

On the bright side, 2012 did unite us Malaysians - something politics have failed miserably.

Malaysians were united in feeling Chong Wei's pain when he lost to Lin Dan in the men's singles badminton final.

Malaysians were united in being confused of how cycling works but were still glued to their seats watching Azizulhasni in action as they cheered him on miles away.

And Malaysians spoke and still speak fondly of their latest darling Pandelela who made a splash by nailing the bronze medal in the 10m platform diving final.

HD says: Let's plan ahead, 2020 and beyond.

Comments

  1. What happens after LCW? Does look like we have much hope for the next games ... Maybe focusing on a few key sports , like what Jamaica has done.. It's amazing how a small nations creates such hold medals while a 27mil and after truck loads of investment gets us a couple of medals...

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  2. You have to look at the entire picture from the sports associations to the athletes and find out exactly what is going on and analyse the weaknesses before you can start thinking about getting the gold medal in the next Olympic Games. If tiny nations can produce more gold medalists than us despite running on smaller budgets then what does that tell you frankly?

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  3. Definitely a failure!

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