Tuesday, June 3, 2008
From Beijing to Kuala Terengganu...What a Journey...
Much has been reported about the Terengganu born national cyclist, Azizulhasni who has qualified to compete in this summer Olympic in Beijing on merit. It is none others than Terengganu's request to have him to compete in Sukma currently held in Terengganu for two (2) reasons, i.e. that Azizulhasni is a gold prospect for Terengganu and that he will be the flag bearer for Terengganu. Read here http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/arkib.asp?y=2008&dt=0519&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=sukan&pg=su_03.htm&arc=hive. All I can say is that the Terengganu's sports officials are very shallow minded people.
Initially, the national cycling federation objected to the idea of calling back Azizulhasni to compete in Sukma, as the poor chap was undergoing training in Australia as preparation for Olympic in Beijing, as they feared that Azizulhasni might get injury while competing in Sukma, thus jeorpardising his chances to compete in Olympic. However, after much huha from the Terengganu camp (they even called Azizulhasni's coach personally in Australia to ask for his release), the coach, John Beasley finally agreed to release Azizulhasni. Read here http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/arkib.asp?y=2008&dt=0522&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=sukan&pg=su_01.htm&arc=hive. Well, I am not surprise at all. The coach is a foreigner. If I were him, why should I bother to fight for your nation when you don't even bother about your nation's interest? Even the MSN (National Sports Council) gave their green light for Azizulhasni to compete in Sukma. So, why do you think John Beasley should fight for our country?
The Director of Terengganu Sports Council, Rosdi Awang, reportedly said that the safety issue regarding Azizulhasni should not be an issue, as accident can happen anywhere, and not necessarily in Sukma. Oh my GOD!!! What a statement from someone called Director. Of course accident can happen anywhere and anytime. You don't have to tell us that. Everybody knows that. But doesn't he think that they need to take every measure possible to avoid or minimise hte possibility of accident from happening? Read here http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/arkib.asp?y=2008&dt=0601&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=sukan&pg=su_03.htm&arc=hive.
By the way, do you know that Azizulhasni is a national sprinter and his favourite events are 200m sprint and keirin, which normally take place in velodrome, a much safer place? However, in Terengganu (during Sukma), Azizulhasni will be competing in 200m sprint but not in velodrome but on the road. Why? Because Terengganu does not have velodrome. Read here http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/arkib.asp?y=2008&dt=0601&pub=utusan_malaysia&sec=sukan&pg=su_03.htm&arc=hive. I don't have to comment further. The facts surrounding the whole issue speaks for itself.
I must say that I really feel sorry for the mentality of our sports administrators for their shallow minded in handling this issue. Azizulhasni is a gold medal prospect for the country in Olympic games in Beijing. At the same time, he is also the gold medal prospect for Terengganu in Sukma. Wow! What a comparison!!! Sukma against Olympics.
If I remember correctly, when Sukma was introduced many years ago, the purpose was to search for new talent, to polish their skills and make them a world class athlete. Azizulhasni is already a world class athlete. So, why the hell does he needs to compete in Sukma? Should not Terengganu unearth new potential so that we can have more world class athletes in the future? In this scenario, the Sports Ministry should play more proactive role in creating awareness among the sports officials in Malaysia especially those at the states level, that competing in Sukma is not all about getting gold medals. It is about unearth and searching for new talents.
Well, to the Terengganu contingent, congratulation in advance for the gold medal in 200m sprint. They should be really happy to have that pice of medal at the end of the day. For all Malaysians and sports lover (with the exception of those shallow minded sports officals), let us pray that Azizulhasni will be fit to compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Our sports are going nowhere if we keep on having sports officials who put their interest over the nation's interest.