The Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) wants its technical adviser, who is appointed by the National Sport Council (NSC), to give full cooperation in the preparation for the Singapore SEA Games.
MAF adviser Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim cynically said the technical adviser, who is quite exorbitantly paid, must be fully made use of, to achieve a reasonable gold medal target at the Games.
“I asked the federation about the preparation for the SEA Games and they said all are with Robert J. Ballard. Then, I asked them, what is your gold medal target? Some say six, four…three.
“It is pointless to only win three gold medal even after employing Robert Ballard, when we pay (him) such a high salary. So I want Robert Ballard to work closely with the association.
“Don’t distance yourself from the association just because the association had gone through some misunderstandings,” he told reporters when met at the Malaysia Open Athletic Championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
Ballard, a former Australian athletics champion, was appointed to the post with a four-year contract which ends in 2018.
Among his achievements was in turning out Indonesian sprint champion, Suryo Agung Wibowo to record the fastest time in the men’s 100 metre event (10.17s) at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.
Commenting on the readiness of sending Category B athletes to Singapore, he said the decision would be made at the selection committee meeting later.
“If Datuk Karim Ibrahim (MAF president) asks me, I would say ‘yes’ but he has yet to ask me. I am positive towards sending category B athletes. From my experience, we can get at least one medal if we send category B (athletes).
“Provided these athletes on an average have shown good performances or achieved something close to the qualifying levels, except for some hiccups on the qualifying day,” he said. – Bernama, March 29, 2015.
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