The ‘Architect’ behind the national contingent’s success at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, Datuk Mazlan Ahmad has urged the National Sports Council (NSC) to take over the Podium Programme currently run and managed by the National Sports Institute (NSI). (File pix)

KUALA LUMPUR: The ‘Architect’ behind the national contingent’s success at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, Datuk Mazlan Ahmad has urged the National Sports Council (NSC) to take over the Podium Programme currently run and managed by the National Sports Institute (NSI).

Mazlan, who is a former NSC director-general, feels that such drastic action is necessary and should be done immediately following the Podium Programme’s athletes’ failure to shine at the Commonwealth Games which ended on Sunday.

The national contingent who took part in Gold Coast only managed to collect seven gold medals – just one more than what was brought back home from the 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland – despite the fact that this time round, preparations were supposedly better through the Podium Programme since two years ago.

In fact, the national contingent’s achievement in Gold Coast this time round failed to meet the target set by Podium Programme director, Australian Tim Newenham, to be in the top 10 of the medals tally, as the national contingent only managed 12th place – the same as Glasgow four years ago.

“Even though we collected more gold medals in Gold Coast compared to Glasgow four years earlier, the fact of the matter is that actually we failed.

“So, I am proposing that the management of the Podium Programme be changed. If it can be changed today, then it should be changed today itself. This is because the NSC are more experienced in management involving high performance athletes compared to the NSI.

“The NSI simply do not have the expertise, nor do they have the experience in managing athletes from before right up to the Podium Programme which has been their responsibility up till now,” said Mazlan when contacted earlier today (Tuesday).

Mazlan added that it was a waste and a huge loss in terms of time, energy and funds to have two sporting bodies, the NSC and NSI, being tasked to oversee high performance sports at the same.

“Give the task of managing the national athletes to those who are experienced and can do a good job. There is no need to wait until the end of the Asian Games this coming August or worse still, till the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The NSI need to go back to what they were initially supposed to do, which is to pay attention in developing sports science and carrying out research and development (R&D) to further develop sports in the country. This is what the NSI should be doing. Matters involving high performance athletes should be left to the NSC,” stressed Mazlan.

On a related matter, Mazlan also suggested that weightlifting should be reinstated to the core sports programme bercause the sport was the source of strength for the national contingent, contributing two gold, one silver (Para powerlifting) and one bronze medal at the second largest sporting event in the world, and that the sport’s development should be given more attention from time to time.

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