Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where are our sprinters?

The highlight, climax and apex of every multi-sports festivals, without a shadow of a doubt, remains track and field.

Rightfully it should be the thrust of our education system and a core sport.

Due to the eternal internal bickering in the national body that I wish to call Many Are Against U, Malaysia has struggled to parade a decent squad on the international front, particularly in the blue riband event, the century dash.

Since the biennial SEA Games and its forerunner the SEAP Games was introduced exactly 50 years ago, we have a small pool of winners in both the men's and women's categories.

M. Jegathesan, G. Rajalingam and Nazmizan Muhamad belong to the select group, having bagged the gold in the 1965, 1967 and 2003 editions respectively.

In the women's section, the exclusive club of Malaysian gold medal winners of the 100m dash comprises Carmen Kolmeyer (1959), Cheryl Dorall (1967), Mumtaz Jaffar (1981) and G. Shanti (1997).

Therefore I remain skeptical whether the recent MSSM century dash winners, Ambrose Jilom and Siti Nurhayati Zulkifli, can make the grade! MAAU are not doing enough and yet its president is eyeing the Olympic Council of Malaysia presidency...HAH!

The Pahang duo - R. Ganeshwaran and Azmi Ibrahim

Loose cannon, Watson Nyambek and Roslin Mat Tahir

Loose cannon and Thai legend, Anat Ratanapol, who bagged the 100m and 200m gold in the Asian Games in Tehran in 1974

Rabuan Pit upset the formbook to win the 1982 Asian Games 100m gold

Shaharudin Mohd Ali (right) gave up athletics and became a top gun in the airforce instead

M. Rajamani was equally at home in the 200m, 400m and 800m, a rare combo

Junaidah Aman won the 1971 SEAP Games 400m gold

1967 SEAP Games 100m gold medallist and Malay Mail columnist, Cheryl Dorall

Mumtaz Begum Abdul Jaffar took the 1981 SEA Games gold with a time of 11.84s

G. Shanti who shunned the limelight and spoke only when it was necessary, is the last Malaysian woman sprinter to take the SEA Games gold medal


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