Robert Ballard to lead Malaysian revival

Robert Ballard
Robert Ballard

FORMER Albury runner Robert Ballard has been appointed the Malaysian Athletics Federation’s technical director of coaching.

After suffering its worst result at the recent Myanmar Southeast Asian Games, officials headhunted the former Olympian who has been working as a sports consultant in Indonesia.

Ballard’s former coach Marcus Arnold said he was excited about the new position.

“He’s the coach of the coaches,” Arnold said.

“His main role is to monitor all the coaches and hopefully get Malaysian athletics back on track.

“They haven’t had a director for 12 years and can only go up.”

Ballard teamed up with Mark Garner, Miles Murphy and Darren Clark to make the final of the 4x400-metre relay at the Seoul Olympics and took part in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

He was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his athletic achievements in 2000.

Ballard, 49, has been working with track and field, tennis, football and hockey players in recent years and was instrumental in Indonesian sprinter Surya Agung Wibowo clocking a personal best time of 10.17 in the 2008 Beijing Olympic 100 metre heats.

He also worked with Tennis Federation Indonesia from 2009 to 2011.

“He’s over the moon,” Arnold said.

“He was looking at all avenues and options and then this job came along.”