NATIONAL COACH 1997
I was first assigned to bring the national squad for the Asean Schools Meet (Association of the South East Asia Nations) in May 1997, where Malaysia play host and the meet was held in Penang.
At that time, I had to turn down the offer because I was preparing my athletes for the MSSM meet which was held in Kangar, Perlis, in July 1997. As host, it was a must for the host to win medals - and I had two athletes capable of achieving them.
So, not to offend them (the committee), I asked my friend, Mr. Shaharim Saad to replace me. He became a national coach then...
The national body then offered me another national assignment in November, 1997.
This time, it was the ASIAN Junior Championship 1997 - in Bangkok, Thailand. Malaysia sent about 30 athletes to the meet, with 8 coaches. I was one of them.
The team traveled by train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, a journey that took 2 days and 1 night. The train took off at 8.30am from Kuala Lumpur and reached Bangkok at 5.00pm the following day. It was a tiring journey and the meet was on the very next day... I wonder who did the planning...
We stayed at the Sol Twin Towers Hotel, a 'Five-Star' hotel and as usual, the hospitality was excellent - a trademark of Thailand... Everything was perfect. Thailand will always be good host to whatever event they play host..
The meet was a big one - with all countries in Asia participating, including countries like Afghanistan, India, Maldives, Qatar, Mongolia, Iran, and even the Palestinian.
Malaysia, however, fared badly with no medals - but, with two 4th placings in the championship. One of them was in the 200m boys - by Ganeshwaran of Pahang. I forgot who got the other 4th placing. If I'm not mistaken, it was Roslinda Samsu - in the girl's pole vault. I may be wrong..
So, after 10 days in Bangkok - we traveled back to Kuala Lumpur by train, again... The long journey was tiring, but in a way, enjoyable. I remember eating half-boiled eggs and toasted sliced bread every 2 hours on the train, because I was hungry all through the journey...
Some photos to cherish:
the Malaysian contingent - opening ceremony march pass
the Malaysian athletes
the Palestinian contingent
the 4x100m relay
the start of the 3000m girls
Ganeshwaran came 4th in the 200m final
the Malaysian athletes in the stands
Ganeshwaran, Nazmizan and coach Chan Kah Yu
Malaysian decathlete, Malik Tobias
waiting for the closing ceremony
the closing ceremony
relaxing at the hotel lobby
one of the T-shirt's logo
Have a nice day....