On the ball: Ranking system will produce more Anuars

NST Online>12/2/2008

By : Vijesh Rai

ANUAR Manan has created history by becoming the first Malaysian, and Asian, to claim the Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) Green Jersey.

Anuar’s second-placed finish yesterday means that it took 13 years for a Malaysian to stamp his mark on the LTdL and, understandably, the local cycling fraternity is excited.

After all, LTdL is not an easy race and the presence of European professionals makes it even harder for Malaysian cyclists to achieve podium finishes.

Anuar has every right to be proud for he has worked hard but the onus is now on him to ensure that his challenge doesn’t fizzle out in the remaining days of the Tour.

After all, it is an undeniable fact that Malaysia has a habit of premature celebration.
In fact, we have mastered the art of rejoicing sometimes even the most minor of achievements.

The national shuttlers are the guiltiest of this, though the footballers are not too far behind as seen with the success of the Merdeka Tournament last year, which was followed by the failure to even make the semi-finals of the Korat Sea Games.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that today’s athletes get almost everything that they desire but the gravy train that Malaysian sport has become, Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said insists, will come to a shuddering halt soon and the national ranking system will see to that.

And that is why it is heartening to note that the Olympic Council of Malaysia is playing a major role in ensuring the ranking system, or rating system, is properly implemented.

Each of OCM’s affiliates received a questionnaire which covered three parts — Governance; Activities, Programmes and Participation; and the third part is on Performance and Achievements.

On the Feb 5 deadline, 25 of the 47 OCM affiliates had responded while the others are expected to do so by today.

How the associations answer the questions will help OCM make its suggestions to the Sports Ministry on how the ranking system should be implemented.

It is good that OCM has taken a lead role for it will go a long way in helping it shed its image as merely a body which picks athletes and officials for multi-sport Games.

The move also helps allay the fears of its affiliates, many of who believe this is an attempt to further reduce whatever funding they get from the government.

But this is bound to happen and the faster associations realise this, the better.

Funding should be based on achievement and some have not only stopped achieving but are hardly producing as well.

They have become dependant on the same faces to the extent that when these athletes fail, they are rebuked publicly by their association.

But just who will rebuke the associations?

Even Anuar’s achievement yesterday may have come too late for LTdL as the Sports Ministry is said to be reviewing the government’s hefty financial involvement in the race.

However, word is the LTdL may go private next year with minimal government support and other associations should also start considering other options.

~ by missjewelz on February 14, 2008.

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