AMERICAN speed specialist Ryan Flaherty, credited for the silver medal by the US in the relays during the 2012 London Olympics, has agreed to coach the Filipino tracksters bound for the Burma (Myanmar) Southeast Asian Games.
Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia yesterday said Flaherty, a 30-year-old running guru from the US Olympic fitness and training facility in San Diego, California, will arrive next month and stay with the Philippine track and field team training for the Dec. 11 to 22 meet.
Garcia got the green light to bring in the high-profile coach after a meeting with Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Go Teng Kok at the Manila Golf Club last Friday.
“He (Go) agreed with the setup. Ryan will not displace any of the coaches and help them improve the performances of the athletes in the SEA Games,” said Garcia. “Patafa has nothing to lose but everything to gain,” he added.
Flaherty, who studied the form and dynamics of Usain Bolt, was in town last month during the Philippine National Games and checked out the profiles of Filipino tracksters.
He didn’t identify the promising runners in the team but noted that sprinters and middle-distance performers could benefit from his program.
Garcia said the sports government agency would offer $1,000 as monthly compensation to Flaherty, quashing rumors that the American coach would earn way above what foreign coaches hired by the PSC normally get.
Flaherty, who played varsity football in college and earned degrees in kinesiology and biomechanics, will also bring in six Filipino-foreign sprinters with US NCAA credentials to compete in the SEA Games and hopefully in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.