The Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) are set to hire Australian Robert John Ballard as the technical director of coaching in a bid to help improve the standard of athletics in the country.
MAF had came under fire from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin after managing to win only four gold medals in the Myanmar SEA Games last month – their worst-ever achievement in the history of the Games since 1959.
MAF have been looking for a high performance technical director since last year and the National Sports Council (NSC) are said to be on the verge of getting the services of the 49-year-old former Olympic 400m runner, who comes with high credentials.
Ballard is a sports consultant specialising in strength and conditioning and has worked with a wide range of athletes and sporting organisations at various levels – from track and field (Olympics) to tennis (elite youth to Pro Tour players), football and hockey.
His motto is: “No speed … no success”.
MAF vice-president Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Jaafar said that Ballard would meet the NSC officials this week to discuss his contract.
“Ballard is also expected to meet the MAF president (Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad). We definitely want a high performance consultant like him … someone who can help raise the standard of athletics,” she said.