KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 – The newly appointed technical director of Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF), Dwayne Miller is confident of taking the country’s athletics back to the glory days.
The American, who has over 30 years of experience in coaching, looked amazed with the number of talents and grassroots athletes after meeting some of the national and school level athletes who reported for duty today.
“I have worked with less talents than this to achieve good results, so this is a not a hard good job here. I look forward because we have young grassroots athletes and a good crop of talents, which auger well for the future.
“Good grassroots…This is where you start. In three years we never know where they will be,” he said in a press conference at the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) office at Wisma OCM here, today.
Miller, who was named 'Nike Coach of the Year' by USA Track and Field in 2008, has a proven record in helping US sprinter LaShawn Merritt to claim two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 400m and 4x100m events and set an Olympic record.
The 55-year-old had also coached LaTasha Colander Clark, a year 2000 Olympics gold medalist in the 4x400m relay, and Rachelle Boone-Smith (2005 World Championship 200m silver medalist); served in Saudi Arabia from 2013 to 2015, Qatar from 2015 to 2017, before returning to USA to work with several athletes from a few states for the past two years.
With about a month to the 2019 Philippines SEA Games, Miller will keep to his advising role to coaches.
After the SEA Games, his focus will be on helping promising athletes to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and getting better results at the 2021 SEA Games and 2022 Asian Games.
Meanwhile, MAF President, Datuk S. M. Muthu said Miller, who was initially proposed be appointed as coach, was given a three-year contract as technical director with six months probation.
“We cannot reveal his salary, it is paid by the National Sports Council (NSC) from the budget allocated for MAF. He is a very experienced coach, we hope he can help improve the results of our athletes.
“For now, we do not want to have any changes in the coaching set up as SEA Games is quite close, so Mohd Manshahar Abd Jalil will remain as the head coach. After the Games, we will discuss in our council meeting if there is need to make changes,” he said.
Muthu said for SEA Games, a total of 26 athletes (19 men and seven women) were listed under Category A, while Category B consists of 22 athletes (10 men and 12 women), the squad is out to achieve a minimum of five gold medals.
On high jumper, Lee Hup Wei’s desire for a Europe training stint in his preparation for Olympics qualification after finishing eighth at the recent World Championship, Muthu said a positive decision is expected to be made after discussion with NSC.