Thursday, February 05, 2015

Malaysian boys step up at Asian Cycling Championships

KORAT (Thailand): Youngsters Muhd Khairil Nizam Rasol, Mohamad Shariz Efendi Shahrin and Mohd Fadhil Mohd Zonis came to Malaysia’s rescue with a silver as their Melbourne-based seniors failed to impress on the opening day of the Asian Cycling Championships at the Korat Velodrome.
The untested trio surprisingly made the boys’ team sprint final in first place after clocking a new national record (outdoor track) of 1:03.772 to earn the right to take on Taiwan, who clocked 1:03.797, for the gold medal.

The Malaysians further lowered their national mark to 1:03.608 in the final, but Taiwan’s Li Ching-yi, Kang Shih-feng and Huang Chih-ping proved too good as they romped to glory in 1:03.409.

It was the only medal for Malaysia on Wednesday, but Fadhil, the younger brother of former Asian triple champion Mohd Firdaus, was far from satisfied.

“It was not the colour we wanted although we were not expected to win the gold. But once we made the final, we were excited and wanted to get the gold. It did not turn out as planned,” said Fadhil.
“Now, I hope to do well in the keirin and 1km time trial,” said 18-year-old Fadhil, who won the keirin silver behind Firdaus in last year’s championships in Kazahkstan.

Junior sprint coach Junaidi Nasir was happy with the opening-day performance.
“Our Kuala Lumpur-based juniors came here with no-medal expectations as they had never competed in the team sprint together.

“There is a future for these boys if they keep their focus,” said Junaidi, a former national sprinter.
Firdaus, Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Josiah Ng failed to make it to the medal rounds of the men’s team sprint. They could only manage to clock 1:03.755 for the sixth fastest time. A total of 11 teams competed in the qualifying rounds.

Asian Games silver medallist Fatehah Mustapa was supposed to partner Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan for the women’s team sprint on Wednesday, but she pulled out to focus on the keirin and sprint events.

Azizulhasni Awang and Josiah can end Malaysia’s search for gold on Thursday when they line up for the men’s keirin while Khairil and Fadhil will be looking for their second medal in the boys’ keirin.

by Lim Teik Huat - The Star

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