and then there was lim keng liat...

Two nights ago i bumped into my ex-classmate, Mr. Alex Lim Keng Liat. As you may recall, he was the great Malaysian swimmer, born and bred in Sabah, before he went to the US to eventually achieve his dreams. after much travelling and swimming; in meets, the SEA games, Asian games, Olympics, World Championships, and meeting a lot of famous characters in the process, he finally called it a day after last year's edition of the Asian games in Doha, Qatar.

Currently he's a coach in KK for our state swimmers. We talked about lotsa things; school, life, sports (of course!), work (sighhhh...), et cetera et cetera. Then came the question of the day. "What is wrong with sports in our country?"

He simply answered, "mental". No it's not "mental" as in "psycho" or anything as similar, but most of our athletes are simply not prepared to face the challenge of the international stage. Well, as an asian games gold medallist in '98 and various other accolades in international stage, who can deny his response? There are also athletes who deserve to be mentioned; Nicol David, Brian Nickson, 'some' of our badminton players, and 'some' others whom are recognized world-class athletes. But I believe these few don’t make up the 27 million we have in our country. We even lost out to the Thais and Indonesians, and to some extent, the Singaporeans.

He cited the reason for this lack of mental strength is merely down to the absence of education we have inside the minds our athletes. As an athlete who was educated in the United States, he knows what type of athletes the US is producing. But I thought we have the NSC, NSI, OCM, the various universities offering Sports Sciences courses, the various Sports Schools; in Bukit Jalil, Bandar Penawar, the various Sports Complexes throughout the country, the high performance sports center in Brickendonbury, London. What are all these places for? What are the people running it doing? There has to be something wrong somewhere. Hmmmm…

Another factor he mentioned is that our sports institution has been infested too much politically. The level of political interferences inside our sports association is tremendously and scandalously and blatantly, astronomic. Some our coaches have to make do with chosen athletes, not those who qualified on merit. Sighhhh…

So after all these whining, what are we supposed to do? Well, as usual, and unfortunately, nothing!!! That is the most frustrating thing!!!

Oh yeah, the Malaysian football team lost 4-1 to Bahrain last night in Bahrain in the first leg of the Asian Zone 2010 World Cup Qualifiers, our Under-16 team lost to North Korea 4-0 in the AFC Under-16 qualifiers in Singapore, and the MyTeam 2 team lost to the Indonesian team 2-0. OOOOKKKKKK!!!

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