Jaganathan can’t tear himself away | New Straits Times

He is one coach that Malaysia’s world champion Ridzuan Puzi literally sweated blood, sweat and tears for.

R. Jaganathan still hopes to be reunited with his athletes after his contract as national para-athletics head coach was not renewed at the end of last year.

Last week, Ridzuan, whom Jaganathan groomed into a Paralympic and world champion, burst into tears when asked about his long-time coach in a television interview, and said he hoped to see Jaganathan returning to coach him.

Jaganathan, who still hopes to contribute to para-athletics, said: “Our (coaches’) contracts were always renewed on an annual basis, this is normal,” said Jaganathan, 64, when contacted yesterday.

“But for this year, the contracts for most coaches over the age of 60 were not renewed.

“I was not the only one affected. I believe my situation got attention because of Ridzuan.

“I have taken the past few weeks to relax and spend time with my family, we will wait and see how things go.

“If my contract is not renewed, I will still look to contribute by giving talks on para sports and will look to share my knowledge. I have previously given talks at a few universities.

“It is not easy to develop para sports. I have spent over 40 years in sports, and I feel that there is a lot that I can contribute.”

Jaganathan, who is based in Kajang, admitted that he was sad to have to part ways with Ridzuan whom he has been coaching for over a decade.

“My group of coaches and I had conducted circuits to identify new talent which is not an easy thing to do in para sports,” said Jaganathan who specialises in sprints events.

“We discovered Ridzuan in 2009 and we took him from being a normal kampung boy to becoming what he is today.

“We spent a long time together and he went from zero to hero.”

Besides Ridzuan (T36), Jaganathan disclosed that there are a number of national para sprinters who have shown potential.

Among them are Nasharuddin Mohd (T20) and Faizal Aideal Suhaimi (T12) who had both won medals at the 2018 Indonesia Asian Para Games.

Source: Jaganathan can’t tear himself away | New Straits Times

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