This letter by Maurice Alphonso appeared in the online forum of The Strais Times yesterday (www.straitstimes.com). I found myself nodding at his sentiments.
Pity the letter wasn’t published in the paper version of TheStraits Times. I am sure it would have made a much bigger impact.
Here’s the letter:
SAA, please don’t politicise athletes’ victory
(The Straits Times Online Forum, 22 Dec 2009)
I REFER to last Friday’s report, ‘Loh fires back in war of words’. It is sad that Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) president Loh Lin Kok gloats about the performance of the 4x100m relay squad, attributing its hard-earned triumph to his policies.
Let me remind him that one swallow does not make a summer, while we wallow in the winter of discontent. Credit must go to the 4x100m athletes and their coach to win the silver medal against all odds.
If either Mr Loh or SAA chief executive officer Steven Yeo had publicly predicted that the 4x100m relay would be a medal contender before the run because of the efforts of the association, then the claim would have been a little more believable.
However, to politicise this victory on the back of deserving athletes is despicable.
There were 45 athletic events in this regional meet but a mere 13 athletes represented Singapore. There were 45 golds at stake but we managed to win only two and a silver. The two golds were won by the old guard, with one coming out of retirement and the other training somewhere in China. This is hardly a ringing endorsement of the rejuvenation that is supposedly taking place.
By contrast, swimmers contested in 32 events and won 14 golds and countless other medals. And they continue to rejuvenate.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan