THE dismal performances of the senior national squad in the Asian Mountain Bike Championships in Malacca on Sunday have brought their participation in the Laos Sea Games into question.
The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) is yet to announce its team for the Games, and it looks likely they will have to travel under category B and be reimbursed should they deliver medals.
MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said his personal view was that the squad should be sent to Laos, but has left it to the MNCF mountain bike committee headed by treasurer Amrun Misnoh to make a decision.
"I wouldn't think of not sending the squad to Laos, but given this performance, I think it would be best for the mountain bike committee to make their recommendations," said Naim yesterday.
In the elite cross country events on Sunday, Shahrin Amir was Malaysia's best performer, finishing a lowly 23rd, followed by Nicklos Minol, who was placed 24th.
The women's event saw Malaysia's best hope Masziyaton Mohd Radzi emerge sixth and arguably the country's best bet for a mountain bike medal in Laos.
"If it is possible to slot them under category A (expenses fully covered by the National Sports Council), then so be it. But even if we cannot have category A slots, we should strive to send the squad," said Naim.
"We still have a month to go and I think the squad can make the necessary improvements in time for the Laos Sea Games. This doesn't mean we don't stand any chance of a medal." - NST