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Overseas sports training as Ranau not ready

Posted: 25 Apr 2011 06:07 AM PDT

Monday, April 25th, 2011 21:05:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council and the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) may end up spending millions to send national athletes for training and competition overseas, due to the lack of facilities at the Ranau Sports Complex in Sabah.

The MAAU said since the Ranau complex does not have the necessary facilities, athletes would have to be send overseas for training and competition as an alternative, to prepare athletes for the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.

MAAU president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Union had identified 38 competitions abroad, especially in Bulgaria, Germany and Slovakia, to prepare the athletes.

"Athletes will be allowed to choose the competitions deemed suitable for their events and the MAAU will submit the proposals to the National Sports Council for approval," he told reporters at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil here today.

However, Shahidan said MAAU would continue its plans to use the Ranau Sports Complex as a training hub for athletics, for all seasons.

"This is a long term programme that can benefit the sport and the state of Sabah in the long run," he said.

Early this year, the MAAU had proposed to send athletes to Ranau as part of its preparations for the SEA Games in November but the programme had to be cancelled due to lack of facilities.

Shahidan said only walkers Teoh Boon Lim and Yuan Yufang had undergone training in Ranau two months ago.

Meanwhile, Shahidan said so far six athletes have qualified for the SEA Games, namely Lee Hup Wei (men's high jump), Roslinda Samsu (women's pole vault), Norasheela Khalid (women's 400m hurdles), Loo Choon Sieng (women's walk), Teoh Boon Lim (men's walk) and Tan Song Hwa (hammer throw).

He also said that eight athletes - Roslinda, Loo, Norasheela and the 4x100m relay team Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaludin, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir, Yee Yi Ling, Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Siti Fatimah Mohamad - have been identified for the Asian Track and Field championships in Kobe, Japan from July 7-10.

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‘It’s my fault’

Posted: 24 Apr 2011 09:37 PM PDT

Wenger accepts blame for Gunners' sad ending

Monday, April 25th, 2011 12:31:00

LONDON: Arsene Wenger took the blame as Arsenal's title bid practically ended after the Gunners were beaten 2-1 by Bolton at Reebok Stadium yesterday.

Arsene Wenger

I BLEW IT: Wenger's side only accumulated two points from a possible nine this week — AFPpic

The Frenchman also admitted his backline was their big weakness as they conceded six goals in three games during a miserable week.

The Gunners now face a sixth trophyless season on the trot but Wenger said he was responsible for his side's mistakes, style and inability to end their run – with growing questions about his own future after this most disappointing of finishes.

The defeat by Bolton saw Arsenal's chances of catching up with leaders Manchester United in tatters. The Red Devils are now nine points ahead of Wenger's team.

"The title chances are very minimal now, but we have to continue to fight. It is very frustrating. We should have had nine points this week and only got two. It's been the story of our season," said Wenger.

"The players are not to blame – it's me. I pick the team. It was the easiest runin we have had for a long time. We feel the potential is there but you have to take the chances.

"We still lack something and that is maturity, experience or calm in important situations."

Wenger, at the same time, is adamant he will not let go of young starlet Jack Wilshere and skipper Cesc Fabregas unless the club allow it. There has been speculation about the future of Fabregas and Wilshere at the Emirates.

Spain international Fabregas is once again linked to a return to Barcelona while teenage sensation Wilshere is believed to be on the wish-list of several big teams, including big spenders Manchester City.

However, Wenger insists his players will respect their longterm contracts and that not a single player will exit the Emirates without the consent of the club.

"When you sign a contract for four or five years, you are committed through your contract to win trophies with the club where you sign," Wenger told Sky Sports. "It is in no contract that if you do not win a trophy the first year, you can leave.

"Nobody asks them to wait. We can win straight away. You speak like the players are not responsible for winning trophies. They are also responsible, like I am, and the fans are.

"Why do you think we pay the players? A club, a football team, is a togetherness between the manager, the players, the club, the philosophy.

"It's a very different thing to say, 'If you do not win, I go'.

"Why should we sell Fabregas? We have built a team around him and we have now Wilshere as well. We want to keep doing that."

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