Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cycling: BMX squad vow to surprise at Sea Games

IT will be about proving themselves as the fledgling national BMX squad, led by Rizal Tisin, work towards making an impact in their Sea Games debut in Indonesia in November.

Fresh from a creditable performance in Round Three of the Crush series at the Tampines BMX Track in Singapore on Saturday, the team will chart a programme and will be ready to mount a serious challenge in the Sea Games.

"We have to find races to prepare and maybe we will opt out of the planned training camp in Chiangmai, together with the Sea Games road and track cycling squads," said Rizal.

"After this, we need to focus on BMX events and preparation towards the Sea Games.
"This is the first time we're going to have a chance to win medals in the Games and we have to tune everything towards that goal."

The BMX squad will go to the Sea Games under Category B, which means the Malaysian National Cycling Federation will have to foot the bill for them but will be reimbursed under the National Athletes' Incentive Scheme should they bring home medals.

"We just need to go to all competitions that are accessible to us, even ones like the Crush Series in Singapore last Saturday where we had to race against riders on mountain bikes," said Rizal.

"For sure we were at a disadvantage, but I managed to make the semi-finals and Mohd Aim Mohd Fauzi finished second overall.

"What was more important was that we got the exposure and showed we were no pushovers although from the start we knew we would have a tough time against those on mountain bikes."

Rizal, who turned 26 on Monday, looks decided on shifting focus to BMX racing despite still being among the top track cyclists in the country.

"From now, it will be important to focus on the BMX events for the Sea Games," said Rizal, the 2009 World Championships bronze medallist in the 1km time trial.

A squad of three are likely to make the cut for the Sea Games with Rizal, Mohd Aim and Selangor's Mohd Elmi Jumari the front runners to fill the slots at the moment.

Read more: NST

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