Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Swimmers need better facilities, support to remain on top

MALAYSIA definitely need better training facilities and support system if they are to continue to reign as the region’s No. 1 in diving.

A medal haul of 6-1-2 saw Malaysia finishing as the overall champions for the third successive SEA Games even though the 1m individual springboard disciplines were omitted from the programme.

Chief coach Yang Zhuliang is pleased with the overall performance of the nine-member squad, especially the new combinations of Bryan Nickson Lomas-Yeoh Ken Nee and Leong Mun Yee-Wendy Ng Yan Yee.

Bryan-Ken Nee and Mun Yee-Wendy bagged the men’s and women’s 3m springboard synchronised titles in only their second international competition after the Asian Championships in China last month.

“We were not sure whether the two new combinations would be able to secure the gold when we first paired them up as they had limited time to train for the event,” said Zhuliang.

“We only started training for the synchronised events when we went to China. It is harder to train at home because the facilities are not so suitable. The boards are too far apart and it is hard for the divers to hear instructions.

“We normally go to the DBKL (City Hall) pool in Cheras to train but it is not conducive as the dry gym is at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil. That is why we need to go to China for centralised training for major championships.”

Malaysia have proved beyond doubt that they now have the best divers in South-East Asia but Zhuliang is more concerned about getting the team ready for the challenges at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games next year.

Zhuliang also raised concerns over the lack of support staff for the team, including a doctor.

“The better teams like Australia, Canada and Britain have their own support staff for major Games and this is something we will request for, especially as our main focus will be the Commonwealth and Asian Games,” he added. STAR

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