Monday, February 09, 2015

Future of Malaysian track cycling looks bright: coach

National junior track cyclist Muhd Khairul Nizam Rasol with the boys' sprint bronze medal won at the Asian Championships in Thailand on Sunday.
National junior track cyclist Muhd Khairul Nizam Rasol with the boys' sprint bronze medal won at the Asian Championships in Thailand on Sunday.

KORAT (Thailand): Junior coach Junaidi Nasir expressed optimism of a bright future for Malaysian track sprinting after watching Muhd Khairul Nizam Rasol fight his way to a bronze medal in the boys’ sprint in the Asian Cycling Championships at the Korat Velodrome.

Khairil got the better of South Korean Oh Je-seok in three heats to return home with a medal after all.
The 18-year-old missed out on a medal in keirin after he finished sixth on Thursday.

Khairil had earlier defeated compatriot Muhd Shariz Efendi Mohd Shahrin in two heats in the quarter-finals, but he failed to overcome Taiwanese Kang Shih-feng and was forced to battle for the bronze.

Malaysia’s only gold in the junior ranks came from Mohd Fadhil Mohd Zonis in the 1km time trial on Friday.

The silver came from Khairil, Shariz and Fadhil in the team sprint on Thursday.
Despite Malaysia failing to repeat the triple gold sweep in keirin, sprint and 1km time trial by Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis in last year’s edition in Kazakhstan, Junaidi said he was happy with the juniors’ performances.

“Firdaus was our top junior, but he has moved up to the senior ranks. We targeted him to deliver a medal at the World Junior Championships in South Korea last year and he did not disappoint with a bronze in the 1km time trial.

“The present set of juniors did not have much exposure after the Asian Championships last year.
“This was their first competition for the year. I see a bright future for them. They will continue to improve and they will be the ones to carry the torch for Malaysia in the future. The 2017 SEA Games will be in Malaysia and cycling will have a full programme again.

“It will be their time and we should not have a problem sweeping all the men’s track titles at stake,” said Junaidi.



by Lim Teik Huat - The Star

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