KUALA LUMPUR: Poad Kassim, regarded as the country’s top sprints coach, has been told to take his time before returning to work after being discharged from hospital.
Poad is currently convalescing at his home in Bandar Penawar following a two-week stay in hospital for a lung infection.
With his athletes including Khairul Hafiz Jantan and Badrul Hisyam Manap continuing to train as usual at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (TMISS), there is no need for Poad to rush back.
"Coach Poad has been discharged from hospital and is continuing his recovery at home," said TMISS principal Suhaimi Sun Abdullah.
"There is no need for him to come back before he is fully recovered as his athletes are following the programme he had prepared for them before he fell ill.
"The athletes are training as usual and preparing to compete in the pre-Asian Games meet in Indonesia next month."
Suhaimi said everyone in the athletics fraternity is relieved that Poad came through unscathed, after having been induced into a coma.
"The boys were really worried and feared the worst when Poad fell ill but thankfully he is on the road to recovery," added Suhaimi.
In Poad's absence, his assistant, Mas Murni Abdullah, has taken charge of training Khairul, Badrul and other sprinters based in Bandar Penawar.
National chief coach Zainal Abas paid tribute to Poad's ability to produce high-quality athletes with Khairul having broken the national 100m and 200m records over the past two years and winning 100m gold at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games last August.
"Poad has proven his ability as a sprints coach with the development of Khairul and Badrul and having achieved success at a high level," said Zainal.
Poad is expected to recover in time for him to accompany Khairul to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 4-15.