Friday January 18, 2013
Lange to chart the fortunes of athletics in Malaysia
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Help is on the way to improve the standard of athletics in the country.
The Malaysian Athletic Federation (MAF) have hired world renowned coach Gunter Lange (pic) of Germany as the technical director of coaching for four years.
The German, who is currently in Uganda, is expected to start work in April.
The German comes with good credentials, having served as the technical director and adviser to many countries over the last 17 years including Thailand and Indonesia. He has also produced multiple SEA Games gold medallists.
Lange is no stranger to Malaysian athletes and officials as he has conducted coaching courses for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in Kuala Lumpur since 2005.
MAF president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said Lange would be involved in every aspect of training involving the Malaysian athletes at all levels.
“He will draw up a comprehensive training programme for coaches and also conduct workshops and coaching clinics in all the states. Lange will also inspect the training equipment to make sure that they are in good and proper working order,” said Zainal after a joint working committee meeting with the National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Malaysian athletics has plunged drastically over the years, partly due to the lack of quality athletes, no proper training programmes and internal brickering among MAF officials.
In the last SEA Games in Palembang two years ago, Malaysia only won five gold medals out of the 42 at stake in athletics.
High jumper, S. Navinraj, last year’s Pahang Sukma (Malaysia Games) silver medallist, has qualified on merit for the Myanmar SEA Games in December. He cleared 2.15m in the Asean University Games in Laos last month to beat the qualifying mark of 2.12m.
The scratch men’s 4x400m quartet of Mohd Arif Zulhilmi, Mohd Firdaus Mazalan, Mohd Jironi Riduan and S. Kannathasan also qualified for the Games by clocking 3:14.87 in Laos to surpass the qualifying mark of 3:14.90.
Zainal said the athletes have until the Malaysian Open on Oct 20 to qualify for the Games.