Perak AA left high and dry over flooded stadium; management blames ‘exceptional rainfall’

Perak Athletics Association says no one from the stadium management was there to help deal with the flooded tracks at Perak Stadium, following a downpour on the first day of the Perak Open, last Saturday.

Its president, Datuk Karim Ibrahim revealed that the technical officials of the athletics meet had to use whatever they could to channel the stagnant water into the drains at the stadium in Ipoh.

“We had to wait for a few hours. First, it was raining heavily, and when the rain stopped, we had to find ways to remove the water from the tracks. This resulted in some of the events being pushed back to the following day. I pity the athletes,” said Karim.

“No one from the stadium management was around. We didn’t know what to do. Our technical officials tried their best to remove the water.

“We paid rent for the stadium. It’s not like we got it for free.”

The flooded tracks at the stadium was first highlighted by Twentytwo13.

Several locations in the state capital were hit by flash floods last Saturday. An embankment wall near a drain in Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Taman Ipoh, also gave way.

Karim argued that athletics had often been sidelined, as the stadium management seemed to favour football.

“The field was in good condition. The water quickly receded on the field, but not on the tracks. Why is that?

“Also, we had to rent two different locations. We were not allowed to hold the throws events at the stadium, and had to rent the rugby stadium for those events.

“Despite us paying for the facilities, we still had people coming in to work on football events, which were held later in the day. This is not the first time this has happened.”

The Perak Open ended on Sunday. Later that night, the stadium hosted a friendly football match between Perak FC and Korea Christian College.

“Just imagine if you had a kenduri (reception), and suddenly, during the kenduri, you have strangers walking around, and preparing for the next event. Is that acceptable? We raised this matter repeatedly with the Ipoh City Council. But I guess everybody loves football more.”

A department under the Ipoh City Council in charge of Perak Stadium said the drainage system was working fine.

Ahmad Zulhafiz Mansor Tarid, an assistant administrator of the City Community Department, said the “exceptional” rainfall had caused many areas in Ipoh to be flooded.

“To say that our drainage system was not working, is inaccurate. The rain was really heavy and many parts around the stadium were also flooded,” said Ahmad Zulhafiz.

“It rained again the following day, but there were no issues with the running tracks and field.”

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