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Team Singapore SEA Games 2007 Selection and Points System
  • June 11th, 2007

I might be shooting myself in the foot, and putting myself out there on the line, but here goes. I think the points system currently being implemented has its ‘flaws’.

For the clueless, the point system is commendably drawn up by our athletics association, basically them wanting to be ‘fair’ when it comes to giving positions in the much highly coveted spots of the individual and relays spots for the upcoming 2007 SEA Games in Thailand

The points system

Here’s how the points system basically work. Do correct me if I’m wrong here. From the local races being held, every time a pre-selected sprinter SEA Games athlete runs an event, based on his timing and result, he’ll get a certain point.

This points overall at the end of the day will rank the athlete. So basically I presume, the top five athlete will be recommend to the NSA and Team Singapore for their inclusion to SEA Games athletics squad.

Yes its commendable on our association part to give places to deserved athletes, but hear me out first. Let’s say as SEA Games was weeks away, a sprinter suddenly did a good timing, far exceeding the current top five athletes, will he be denied a spot in the team as he has not run a single race before this year. Maybe the association have such contingencies plans drawn up already if such situation arises, but so far I’ve not heard anything. So if anyone knows, do share.

I’ve asked around the local athletics scene in fact. Those not in the loop, the public and coaches, many does not about this new points system implementation. If the association wants to be seen as fair, how about more transparency in the rankings system. I searched high and low for the rankings and points system information, to inquire who is currently our top five or how it’s calculated, but it wasn’t published online on the website. Maybe knowing who tops the list will give it a more credible look to the system.

What do you think of the points system

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Our own rankings

We at Singapore Athletics have our own rankings too. Our rankings is simple. Those with the best result, tops the chart, liken to the IAAF best timing rankings. Our rationale by not average out athletes performances, as we feel athletics is based on an athlete’s current form. If the pack of field is slow on the day, the winner is basically someone who can run best among the pack even he has not been running any races nor tops the ranking previously. Based on local races, the five sprinters thats tops the list currently are

100m Men
Shafiq Kashmiri 10.67
Shameer Ayub 10.68
Poh Seng Song 10.80
Gary Yeo 10.84
Kang, Li Loong Calvin 10.84

100m Women
Balpreet Kaur Purba 12.3
Choo, Sze-Min Amanda 12.54
Lee, Yan Lin 12.65
Liang, Wei 12.74
Amanda Fox 12.80

Our own recommendation for 4x100m Men SEA Games 2007

For the men’s relay team, I feel you need the essential three for now. Poh Seng Song, you saw what he did on the last leg for SEA Games 2005 4x100m relays final leg, he’s a ‘fighter’. Shafiq Kashmiri who has improved by leaps and bound running in the states now. He’ll bring alot of experience and composure as his training partners on a normal day are those running times to our national records! Lastly we need Shameer Ayub, who has been a consistent 10.6s and his breakthrough is just around the corner

The last runner slot plus the reserve I believe is still open. We can’t forget our national record holder in 100m UK Shyam who’s still running at 30 years old, he’s still got a point to prove, nor Gary Yeo, training partner of Poh Seng Song, but we can only hope National Service won’t disrupt his progress. Of course the former Sports School sprinter sensation, Calvin Kang, at a young age, he’s doing a sublime timing of 10.8s, also consistently timings in his last few races.

So from the above, these are the ranked athlete who has currently ran the races locally. We at Singapore Athletics will take note if they’re selected for the final relay and individual spots for SEA Games 2007. Let’s see any more ‘drama’ ensues or relays selection issues as the SEA Games nears. Well it always does and it’s about time we become MORE transparent about the selection process rather than selecting those based on ____________. Well you fill in the blanks there.

I’ll keep you all in the loop as much as I can of any developments
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Relay selection

Also comes into question that has been hotly disputed is the relays selection. How do a coach actually choose a runner from the field of excellent pack. Well I posed this question on the highly regarded sprinting forum, Charlie Francis. He’s the coach who made Ben Johnson ran 9.79s in the 100m Seoul 1988 Olympics. Though this credibility is questionable due to the drug scandal, he did produce a world class athlete and have coached some of the world top elite athletes. My question was answered by forum community members who themselves are elite coaches and athletes from all around the world, so there’s some basis to their replies

Goose232: Get the 4 fastest runners and get them to practice baton exchanges

WRCortese5: Agreed, take your 4 fastest guys. Baton exchanges aren’t that hard if you work on them; it’s the timing and chemistry that needs to be made with a consistent team of runners. Relay work can be included as speed work, with all the accels you’ll be doing with them.

TopCat: IMO you need a mix of both. Don’t underestimate the importance of good baton changes there is lots of research to show how you can get up to 3s off the combination of your individual PBs with good baton changes. I seem to remember the French setting the record with around 2.9s faster than their combined PBs. So it does make a difference. You’d hold a squad day and choose the athletes that seem to have the best combination of speed and understanding of the relays. Then you develop a national program from juniors upwards so that all the talent coming through can pass correctly and have an opportunity to show their skill in competition. Then it should just a matter of choosing the fastest runners! Also, do not underestimate the pressure of the relay. You have to be confident in yourself and your team mates and commit to every changeover. This is something that can only come with experience. And while relays are not always “the main event” they are a good way of introducing new talent to high class competition.

So basically the argument from the above has one thing in common. Pick the fastest four runners in relay, practice them together. And why is it still am I seeing over and over again, some of the more faster sprinter are excluded in the first team relays. I’m clueless.

I shan’t say names, but if I were selected for the first team myself, I would voice out to the coach if someone is faster and more deserved of the place than me. But would you would send a 11 plus seconds runner to form your relays to let’s say a Grand Prix event. That would be so embarrassing and we’ll be a joke! Athletes don’t want empty promises, again more transparency.

Disclaimer: May I remind again, the above is a couple of recommendations and constructive criticism based on my part. No this is not an athlete-association bashing article but more of getting the issues out there in the open for discussion. No one feels safe voicing out their opinion, so let’s make this website to it’s full use. Use pseudonyms if you need to, but do comments too with constructive feedbacks rather than ‘picking up a fight’ nor arguing for the sake of ranting. Thanks

Visit SEA Games page, click here


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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