KUCHING: Former national hurdler, Noraseela Mohd Khalid is now on a mission to nurture more young talents from Sarawak in the sprint and hurdles events.

Noraseela, who has about 17 years of experience as an athlete, hopes to use her experience in representing the country, including the 2012 London Olympics, to pass down her skills to the young athletes.

The women’s 400m hurdles national record holder, who was appointed as an elite coach in Sarawak in March, currently has Alvin Jostine (100m and 110m hurdles) and Mohd Norhazim Ahmad (110m hurdles) under her wings here.  Sarawak 400m hurdler, Mandy Goh Li, who is based in Bukit Jalil under a different coach, has also been put under Noraseela’s observation.

Noraseela’s first test will be at the 2020 Johor Malaysia Games (Sukma), as Sarawak was taking its preparations very seriously in the aim of taking its athletes to the next level.

“My goal is very simple, when the athletes are prepared, they will perform, that’s it. So as a coach, we need to prepare these athletes and we have to make sure that we are doing everything according their stage of development to avoid them burning out too early. 

“We have to understand when dealing with young athletes, there are stages, so I am quite patient with that and I can be strict as well with them. Being a coach is far more challenging than being an athlete because as an athlete, you just need to think about yourself and your performance.

“I try to mentor them as well, especially on the psychological aspects and experience sharing. I am trying to relate, but it is different from one athlete to another,” she told Bernama when met at the Malaysian Athletics Federation Championships in Bukit Jalil.

Noraseela’s 56.02s personal best set in Regensburg, Germany in June, 2006 still remain as the women’s 400m hurdles national record, with no athletes able to overcome her mark in the past 13 years.

The 39-year-old is also one of the two last Malaysian athletes to win a medal at the Asian Games. – Bernama

At the 2006 Doha Asian Games, Noraseela brought back a bronze for the women’s 400m hurdles, while women’s pole vaulter, Roslinda Samsu bagged a silver.

Since her debut at the 1999 Brunei SEA Games, Noraseela had won four gold medals and two silvers while at the Asian Championships she has two silvers and a bronze to her name. – Bernama