Monday, August 11, 2014

Firdaus blazes to bronze in the 1km time trial at the Junior World meet

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian cyclist Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis announced his arrival on the big stage with a 1km time trial bronze medal at the Track World Junior Championships in South Korea. But it could have been a silver ride if the 18-year-old had got off to a better start at the Gwangmyeong Velodrome in Seoul.

Firdaus was placed 22nd overall after the first lap, but he made an astonishing progress in the remaining two laps to claim Malaysia’s second-ever medal in the World Junior Championships with a time of 1:04.161. Adiq Husainie Othman rode to a bronze in the scratch race at the 2009 edition in Moscow.

But it was an anxious wait for Firdaus. He was the 35th starter and then watched from the sidelines as final participant Jung-jae-hee of South Korea took off. Soon, there was a big grin later on his face as the Korean could only manage to clock 1:04.363 to finish fourth.

Jiri Janosek of the Czech Republic claimed the gold in 1:02.558 while Russian Alexey Nosov clocked 1:04.005 to take the silver.

Mohd Fadhil Mohd Zonis, Firdaus’ younger brother, was 22nd in 1:07.187. A total of 36 took part in the event.

Firdaus, the reigning Asian triple champion, said he was gutted after he was relegated to last in the 12-rider keirin semi-finals on Saturday.

“I felt it was an unfair decision to penalise me for blocking another rider in the semi-finals. I was determined to do well today after what happened on Saturday.

“I finally got a bronze for the country. It’s a historic medal as it is our first in a sprint event. But I am not satisfied as it’s not my best time. Now, I will try to get a second medal in the sprint tomorrow (today),” said Firdaus.

Meanwhile, Asian junior bronze medallist Farina Shawati Adnan’s campaign in the women’s sprint ended in the last 32 hurdle when she lost to Olivia Podmore of New Zealand. Earlier, Farina was the 18th fastest in qualifying with a time of 12.078.

 by Lim Teik Huat - The Star

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