ACCOUNTABILITY: MNCF deputy president takes responsibility for London failure and will make way
A MEDAL, despite no sen being spared, proved elusive at the London Olympics, and Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad will step down at the end of his term in a show of accountability.
For most, Azizulhasni Awang's sixth-placed finish in the keirin on Tuesday was a success story but Naim deemed it a failure and will make way for a new person with fresher ideas for the 2016 challenge in Rio de Janeiro.
"I am proud of Azizul's performance, even though he could only finish sixth in the keirin final as he rode brilliantly in the Olympics -- be it in the sprint or the keirin -- but the fact remains we failed to win a medal.
"No effort was spared in the buildup to the Olympics and we prepared the athletes (Fatehah Mustapa was the other cyclist in London) the best we could and we really thought a medal, if not gold, was possible," said Naim.
The cyclists have made Melbourne their training base for several years now and were in Germany for a pre-Olympic training stint as well. Exposure is something they don't lack either, getting to compete in the World Cup on a regular basis besides other top-class competitions.
"This is a cycle which started 12 years ago with Josiah (Ng) being exposed in the 2004 Athens Olympics for the 2008 Games. Azizul was exposed in the 2008 Games for the London challenge and yet, we failed to win a medal.
"The time is right for a new person to take over with the target being the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. There must be accountability as well for I consider not winning a medal a failure and I accept full blame," said Naim, who was also the London Olympics cycling team manager.
"My term expires in 18 months or so and I will not seek re-election. I won't leave MNCF in the lurch but am serving notice that my time is up."
Replacing him, said Naim, will not be a problem. "We have many former national cyclists who can easily replace me. In fact, the likes of (M.) Kumaresan and Rosman (Alwi) have ideas and I am sure they can contribute to MNCF."
Some within the cycling fraternity will be happy to see Naim go but for the majority, he has been a working deputy president and when he does quit the scene, replacing him will take some effort.