Athletics: Call for officials to be more athlete-centric as Singapore Athletics seeks to turn the tide

Left: Michelle Sng, seen here in action during the Asian Games in August, says a national training centre helmed by a head coach and a few coaches for various disciplines would be ideal.Below: Two-time SEA Games champion Soh Rui Yong, the top local f
Michelle Sng, seen here in action during the Asian Games in August, says a national training centre helmed by a head coach and a few coaches for various disciplines would be ideal.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Left: Michelle Sng, seen here in action during the Asian Games in August, says a national training centre helmed by a head coach and a few coaches for various disciplines would be ideal.Below: Two-time SEA Games champion Soh Rui Yong, the top local f
Two-time SEA Games champion Soh Rui Yong, the top local finisher at last year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, says hiring a foreign coach may not always work out, as the eco-system here is different from those in other countries.ST FILE PHOTO

Continuity, financial support, the right coaches critical, but athletes can also help improve matters

Between 1965 and 1979, Singapore swept 145 track and field medals at eight editions of the SEA Games, 33 of them gold. Since then, the Republic's athletes have won 118 in 19 editions of the biennial Games, with only 26 golds.

While he notes increased competition is a factor - in 1975 only four nations participated in the Games, compared to 11 last year - local athletics coach Steven Quek says the lack of good results at regional level is cause for concern.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2018, with the headline 'Call to be more athlete-centric'. Print Edition | Subscribe