KUALA LUMPUR; National skateboard coach Mohd Zamri Ramli laughed off claims from some national skateboarders that Malaysia would have won several medals, even gold, at the recent Indonesia Asian Games if several athletes had not been excluded.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! They are so confident of getting the gold medal? Their thinking is so ‘power’, I’m driving at the moment and I have to laugh. I’m sorry, I apologise.”
That was the response from Zamri when NSTP Sport phoned him today for comments.
Earlier, several national skateboarders told NSTP Sport that Malaysia would have won several medals, including gold if Koya Miyasaka, Fikri Fauzi, Zainul Mustaqien and Muhd Nur Firdaus had been sent to the Asian Games.
They claimed that the poor administration of the Malaysian Extreme Sports Association is the cause for the poor results of the country’s skateboarders at the Games.
However, Zamri scoffed at the claims and insisted that Malaysia is not at a “medal achieving” level just yet.
Zamri, who has 24 years of experience, said: “I, as a jury for the past few years, have seen so much in skateboarding.”
He said there is so much difference in standard between the Asian Games gold medal winners and Malaysian’s top skateboarders.
He said followers of the sport can ask Malaysia’s skateboard legend Pa’din Musa to give his views on the issue.
“The Japanese winner Keyaki Ike and Indonesia’s Sanggoe Darma Tanjung are on a level beyond any skateboarders in Asia and that’s no joke.
“I’m not talking about speculations and these are hard facts,” said Zamri.
He felt that the Malaysian skateboarders are under the impression they should get preferential treatment from national selectors.
However, Zamri felt that they did not deserve to be selected as they did not win any medals in the overseas competitions that they competed in.
He said the skateboarders were under false impressions and they were probably not clear on the “standard contract” that is offered to all national athletes by the National Sports Council.
He said the contract prepared by NSC includes athletes’ accommodation, training modules, nutrition and psychology classes as well as RM800 every month.
On claims that the Malaysian Extreme Sports Association (MESA) did not provide financial support for outstation skateboarders to train in Kuala Lumpur, Zamri said: “If you are dedicated enough, and there are a lot of athletes who don’t come from Kuala Lumpur, they will come and pay for themselves and train.
“Why do these two (Zainul and his brother Firdaus) think they are so special and think we have to pay for them to go back and forth as they please?
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful but this is the truth,” said Zamri who pointed out that Pa’din had to travel from Penang and Johari Fitry Khairuddin (Malaysia’s Asian Games coach, better known as Joe Ipoh) came from Ipoh but they did not ask for anything.