Saturday January 5, 2013
Jayabalan on a mission to seek redemption
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: Atonement, redemption, making amends. However you wish to call it, athletics coach K. Jayabalan is on a mission to redeem lost pride.
In the Indonesia SEA Games in 2011, the surprise package of S. Kannathasan, P. Yuvaraaj, Schzuan Ahmad Rosely and Mohd Yunus Lasaleh clocked 3:10.49 to take home the gold ahead of the Philippines (3:11.16) and Indonesia (3:14.90) in the 4x400m final.
However, the Malaysians were stripped off the gold medal after Mohd Yunus tested positive for a banned substance, thus robbing the quartet of a fairytale ending.
That resulted in the Malaysian athletics squad returning home with just five golds.
And now Jayabalan wants the men’s 4x400m team to make up for that disappointment at this year’s SEA Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in December.
“We need to put the Indonesia setback behind and prove that the win was not a fluke ... that we can win the gold again. We must fight to win back the title,” he said after conducting a training session, which resumed after a two-week break, in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Jayabalan has also set his sights set on getting the men’s and women’s 4x100m teams going again.
“I think we have a real chance (of winning the gold medal) with the 4x100m relay. This is the first time that we have all the athletes based here in Bukit Jalil,” said the 65-year-old.