Saturday, December 23, 2017

Diving - 'no pain no gain'?

"Dive Dive Dive", no, not uttered by the captains of our once non-submergent Scorpene subs, wakakaka.

But apart from an approaching enemy anti-submarine destroyer there's trouble afoot for our national diving team.

First, those lil' Napoleon bureaucrats at the National Sports Institute (NSI) informed us that the contract of national diving head coach Yang Zhuliang’s won't be extended because he is 'old school' and refuses to use new sports science etc etc etc, which as usual was a lot of horse manure, of sea-horses that was, wakakaka.

I am always submerged, wakakaka 

When Yang riposted he obtained World-class results so fuck your new sports science (well, he didn't say f* your whatever - 'tis just kaytee's blogger's licence, wakakaka), the lil' Napoleons trotted out Daddy Minister, and hid behind his sarong.

KJ then told us that while Yang Zuilang himself was NOT involved, he had allowed a culture of fear to developed as he failed to protect athletes from an environment of rape, sexual harassment, violence, bullying and threats.

Coach Yang Zuilang 

While no one should ever condone rape, sexual harassment, violence, bullying and threats, not just in the sports diving community, we need to examine what those allegations really mean, apart of course from the clear-cut crimes of rape and sexual harassment.

Why? Because we can NO LONGER trust those bureaucrats for their words, words so bullshit-ish that it has necessitated the Sports Minister to come out and defend or clarify what the hell has been going on with their equally bullsit-ish 'old school' versus 'new sports science'.

Now, sources say Rigid training, alleged ‘beatings’ by assistant may have cost Yang his job where Yang's no-nonsense approach, embodied by the very disciplined and harsh regime he has set up, was worsened or blackened by allegations against his over-zealous assistant.

Leaving aside for a moment his assistant coach (we will come back to this bloke in a while), some star divers and their egos could not take his discipline. Thus there arose a hostile environment in the national diving camp.

We have been informed that 'Athletes were apparently submitted to “normal beatings” in training but an overzealous assistant may have gone overboard with too big a “rap on the knuckles”'.

Beatings during sports training and other competitive training is normal in Far East sports training, especially in Korean, Japanese and of course Chinese methodologies. Maybe that was has been meant by the earlier bullshit of Yang refusing to follow 'new sports science', especially for our Malaysian manja-sayang-merajuk sweeties. Why didn't they say so in the first place?

The 'source' further informed that two divers, Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri, have been most persistent about ending Yang's contract. 

And it was alleged that Pandelela was actually hit by assistant coach Huang Qiang in training. Apparently this Huang bloke is alleged to have a sadistic streak which at times went overboard.

'Source' told us, “There was once we were playing a ball game where the loser gets hit. Pandelela lost and Huang kicked her. Maybe he kicked too hard that Pandelela screamed and shouted at him. Huang lost his temper and suddenly started kicking her in front of all the divers.”

Shouting at a coach in Chinese, Korean and Japanese code of behaviour is a big NO-NO, thus it was little wonder that Yang backed Huang, undoubtedly to the anger of Pandelela Rinong and any lil' Napoleons sympathetic to her grief.

Let me tell you a real story. In 2000 a young Aussie girl won the gold medal in a certain class of the Tae Kwon Do competition. She was naturally a national hero after that, and was highly sought for TV interviews. 

Lauren Burns wins Australia's first ever gold medal in Taekwondo at the Sydney Olympics. 

In one of those interviews she related her training in South Korea where she admitted her cultural shock when during training she was severely caned for her infringements or any lack of performance required by the her coach.

She admitted that produced results and she hung on despite the Korean's very un-Aussie way of treating athletes. Her perseverance ended up in a gold medal for her at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

That's the truth of Korean, Japanese and Chinese sports training methodologies. Was this similar method in KL the cause of the alleged 'violence, bullying and threats' as claimed by some divers?

When I was a kid at school that was how my teachers - Malays, Indians and Chinese - treated poor kaytee whenever I did not do well in class, wakakaka. So I could argue that strict harsh training methodology was/is Far East Asian style rather than just those of Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

Then there was another incident (before the KL SEA games) which did not do much for Yang's relationship with the diving camp.

The source said, “Dhabitah had an injury while training for the SEA Games. A (unnamed) NSI officer wanted her to withdraw from the Games but Yang didn’t follow orders and put Dhabitah in the games. However, Dhabitah managed to take gold.

If Dhabitah did not participate as the (unnamed) NSI officer had wanted, would she have won her gold medal? Obviously Yang assessed that all Dhabitah needed was a wee push as she was of 'gold' material.

There appeared to have been too much of a ready-to-give-up mentality at the NSI which of course Yang Zuilang would not countenance. And that's how Malaysia won one extra gold.

Let's not talk so much about the assistant coach Huang, as he is now in deep shit and facing charges pertaining to raping a national diver at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil last year. It's now a police-court matter and if he is found guilty, let him face his due punishment.

But Yang Zuilang is another issue.

Another source said: “Maybe Huang is the problem but most of the divers love Yang Zhuliang ... he is the best coach. He may not follow sports science but he produces world-class divers. But if the star divers insist he is replaced, then what is there to do.”

"... most of the divers love Yang Zhuliang" though admitted not all, divers like Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri who have been most persistent about ending Yang's contract. 

But I wonder, would Pandelela and Dhabitah become star divers if they were not trained and pushed by Yang Zuilang?

But because most of the divers love Yang for his teaching, I think KJ should examine this further and not allowed a too-ready-to-give-up mentality as in the case of Dhabitah Sabri and the too-eager-to-accommodate-sweetie attitude of the (unnamed) NSI officer.

We also heard from Yang Zhuliang that a lil' Napoleon, an officer at the National Sports Institute (NSI) officer led to his removal from the national set-up, which he suspected might have been due to an incident during the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.

Was it a case of lil' Napoleon reacting overboard on the basis of sweetie's manja-sayang unhappiness at being made to participate? Would anyone have won, let alone a gold medal, if that someone didn't participate? Maybe the winning of a gold medal added to the shame and anger of lil' Napoleon?

I reckon KJ has listened to only one side. The loss of Yang Zuilang is monumental as he has taken several of our divers including Pandelela Rinong to World-class standards. This is virtually one of the 4 World class sports Malaysia has excelled in (besides badminton, hockey and 10-pin bowling) so let us not lose a fantastic coach merely on the prejudiced words of a lil Napoleon.

Let us give Cheong Jun Hoong the world champion at the women’s 10m platform gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in July, have the last word via a Star Online report:

It will be a bittersweet year for world champion diver Cheong Jun Hoong.

After claiming a historic first for Malaysia by winning the women’s 10m platform gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in July, Jun Hoong never expected a bombshell to hit the Malaysian divers five months later.

Her long-time coach, Yang Zhuliang, will leave the team after Dec 31 as his contract under the Podium Programme will not be renewed.

Australian Christian Brooker will come in to assist Zhang Yukun to run the elite diving squad.

Cheong Jun Hoong

Jun Hoong finds it hard to accept that she won’t be training under Zhuliang any more.

The 27-year-old from Perak is one of the senior members of the national diving team. She has spent 13 years in the national team, having trained under Huang Qiang and Zhuliang before winning the world title.

“I feel very sad after the news, I could not even accept the decision at first.

“But I will have to face the facts eventually and accept the reality of life.

“If this is the final decision, I wish coach Yang (Zhuliang) that he will be happy and healthy in the future.

“He is tired after putting all his effort into the team all these years,” said Jun Hoong, who partnered Pandelela Rinong to deliver an Olympic silver medal in the women’s 10m platform synchro in Rio last year.

“I’m very lucky and I feel grateful to have Yang as my coach. He has brought me to where I am today.

“I would not have won the Olympic silver medal and world diving champion title without his years of dedication.

“The world recognised him without explanation."

"I respect him, he deserves my admiration, perhaps even my awe and I will never ever forget his dedication."

“Best wishes to him from me.”

Yang Zhuliang speaking to Pandelela Rinong at the 2012 London Olympics


  1. Military-style stern discipline can be very effective in producing peak performance in humans.
    However, there is a thin line between strict discipline and severe regimens vs. Abuse and tyranny.
    The organisation must provide clear guidelines on what constitutes strict but acceptable discipline, and what is unnacceptable.

    Case in point is current investigations into serious alleged abuses in US Marines Boot camps. The Marines have famously severe training which only the best and fittest pass. However serious allegations of physical and sexual abuse have surfaced.

    Note that Yang is not being sacked. His time-based contract which is expiring is not being renewed, which is an important difference.

  2. Many Chinese Malaysians have a tendency to ape "China is best".

    It similar to Anglophiles who used to slavishly ape "West is Best".

    We should learn what is appropriate and discard the rest.

    China's explosive success has a track record of less than 30 years. That is a tiny weeny blip in history.
    Many of China's ways of doing things are unacceptable to other people, and even in China it is doubtful current ways of doing things can sustain another 30 years.

    1. you're quite right in that many of China's ways of doing things are unacceptable to other people.

      But of the Malaysian divers, Cheong Jun Hoong and some others like Yang Zhulang, while Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah Sabri do not.

      You work it out who's more persevering in their training, even of pain. Cheong Jun Hoong is today the No 1 on 1om board

    2. ["Many Chinese Malaysians have a tendency to ape "China is best".

      It similar to Anglophiles who used to slavishly ape "West is Best".]

      What does it mean when people proclaim " China Is Best" or "West Is Best" ? Aping aside, this sort of proclamation give some sort of acknowledgement that China Has Arrived or West Is The Topdog, hooray !

      Quit whining, banish all this entitlement attitude and supremacist idea, and who knows, in 500 years' time, there might be a significant numbers who could also proclaim " Malaysia is Best", wakakakaka.

  3. I suspected that my idol, the star diver, would've been a bit envious when Cheong entered her pet event and won the world championship. But when I viewed all of Cheong's dives on that day, I saw it was a near perfect performance that even sent shivers to the Chinese camp.

    Cheong said later that she was surprised that Yang entered her for the event. It was fitting that you mentioned about the Far East Asian style training and Lauren Burns. It reminded me of kungfu films of the past where the hero trained like mad under the watchful eye of the master to finally battle and defeat the ultimate baddie.

    Without Yang's wisdom, Cheong would not have been able to repay the confidence that the coach gave her to win on that day. The same goes for Dhabitah too when she won a gold medal despite having a small injury.

    I feel sorry for Yang that his time in Malaysia has to end controversially