Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On a Hai-note?

Beng Hai and Datuk Poon Fook Loke

Former national fencer and NST sportswriter Gerald Martinez and his fellow Johannian, loose cannon, with the coveted Champions Trophy. Pic taken circa 1993

I don't think Tai Beng Hai remembers our first meeting. But I do. It took place in the late 80s, while the two of us were trying to squeeze into a packed mini bus near Chow Kit. Having been a fan of the MHL since it was launched when I was in Form 5, I could not resist saying hello to him. Of course he was not used to being stopped by strangers in public...

Two decades on, Beng Hai is no longer the defender holding the fort. He is the national team's chief tactician, albeit on an interim basis but I suspect he would be made the permanent coach soon, despite the fact Malaysia finished merely fourth in the recent Asia Cup, which to me is nothing to shout about.

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