WALK THIS WAY!
Is walking the new running fad? Is slow the new fast? I’m happy that Malaysia won a gold medal in the 20km Walk in the recent SEA Games in Singapore. The only other noteworthy success in Track & Field event was another gold in the Triple Long Jump. What surprised me more than Malaysia’s dismal athletic performance was the clear lack of idea, belief & national pride in Team Malaysia as reflected by no official representation for the Marathon, 10km & 5km running categories!! Surely, some potential-showing junior runners should have been given the opportunity to run & gain some experience at the very least?!
In fact, our walk winner only qualified under B-category and he still managed to bring back a gold medal.
When I first highlighted this issue of Malaysia’s lack of participation in the above mentioned running events in the SEA Games 2015, some of my fellow runners & friends shared in my disappointment, while others blame politicians for meddling in our national sports bodies. Whatever the reasons for the current poor showing, the fact still remains that those in charge of national runners have not explained why there were no relevant representatives present in Singapore, and I challenge them to share with the tax-paying public what exactly is their future national plans to develop our middle/long-distance runners. Will Malaysia suffer the same fate in Track & Field events in 2017, when we become the SEA Games host?!
When I see the popularity of running within our community through the numerous running events organised, I cannot help but wonder why we cannot produce some local contenders. They don’t even have to be the best runners in the region, but at least, they should do Malaysia proud by participating in these regional competitions for experience & exposure, no?
Last October, our debonaire Sports Minister Mr. Khairy ran his first 10km at Standard Chartered Marathon KL, and since then he has taken part in several runs at Fitness Malaysia events, as well as the highly-publicised 9-to-5 Run. Is he running to promote running as a sport or as a form of exercise? Judging by the poor showing in the SEA Games, it looks like there is a lot of show but no action nor talk at the national and regional level. My suggestion is to be transparent and share with the public the work currently being done by our national running coaches. Do you want to know too? I plan to cheer our runners in SEA Games 2017, and I will cheer for them even if they come in last because I am patriotic. However, there must be a Malaysia runner participating in the race in order for me to support them, duh?! It so happens that the categories of Marathon, 10km & 5km are my favourites, and I will flip-out if we do not field any runners for it.
COME ON, MALAYSIA!
( I do not want to use the slogan “Malaysia Boleh” because these days, the phrase is often used sarcastically to imply a negative connotation, agreed?)
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