Letter in ST Online Forum on women’s 4x100m relay team break-up saga: Let’s keep our precious sports talents

The report:

This letter appeared in the forum section of the online edition of The Straits Times:

Let’s keep our precious sports talent

(straitstimes.com, Forum, 14 July 2009)

TALENT is a terrible thing to waste, and the disintegration of our formidable women’s sprint relay team (‘Women’s 4×100 team split up, Sunday) ahead of the December SEA Games in Laos is a case in point.

Whatever reasons each runner may give for not wishing to continue, it is clear that they all stem from their coach, Mr Loh Chan Pew, being unceremoniously replaced, albeit by a better qualified one. One can understand the frustration of these young athletes who have made great progress under Mr Loh.

The team built so arduously by him is now history. It is reported that the Singapore Athletics Association (SAA) now wants to focus on a junior team consisting of younger, inexperienced runners. According to SAA technical director C. Veeramani, this team will not be under pressure to qualify for the SEA Games. Rather, the plan is long term, to focus on the future.

The SAA’s message seems clear: We can afford the present loss, let’s move on and look to the future with younger talent.

Which is puzzling because first, one would have thought Mr Loh’s team had been long in the making, not for the short term. Second, if we do not do what is right for our present talent, what future are we talking about?

Singapore has sports talent. Let’s not waste it unnecessarily.

Lee Seck Kay


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

13 July 2009: Break-up of national women’s 4x100m relay team: Singapore sports is the biggest loser

9 February 2009: A piece of advice to the national women’s 4x100m relay squad

27 February 2009: Loh Chan Pew receives POSB Everyday Champions Award while the SAA receives egg on its face

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