Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Asian keirin champion eyeing SEA Games medal in BMX cycling

PETALING JAYA: Cyclist Rizal Tisin made a successful comeback after fracturing his ankle in a hit-and-run incident to bag a Commonwealth Games silver medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last year.
And it is this single-minded determination to achieve any goal he sets out to do that may see him blaze a new trail for Malaysia in BMX cycling at the Indonesia SEA Games in November.

Rizal has temporarily ditched the track cycling discipline where he made a name for himself on the world stage to focus on making an impact in BMX cycling with Elmi Jumari and Mohd Aim Mohd Fauzi.

New discipline: Rizal Tisin has temporarily ditched track cycling to focus on making an impact in BMX cycling.
The trio have been given the nod by Malaysian National Cycling Federation to compete in the SEA Games under Category B. The association will have to foot the bill for them but will be reimbursed should they bring home medals.

Rizal, who is the reigning Asian champion for the 1km time trial in cycling, is serious on making an impact in a new discipline now that things are all worked out.

“I knew my hopes of competing in the London Olympics next year are virtually nil as the sprint team are unlikely to qualify in the first place as we are very far behind China and Japan (only the top two teams from Asia will make the cut).

“The 1km time trial is also not in the Olympics so I want to focus on BMX cycling until the end of the year.
“We have to find our own races to prepare for the SEA Games as we want to make something out of it.
“This is the first time Malaysia are represented in BMX cycling and we have a chance to win medals.

“If we achieve it, it will show others that we can be competitive in BMX cycling as well.
“It is also an Olympic sport and if we do well, it offers hope of getting more attention to the discipline,” said Rizal, who added they are likely to opt out of a planned training camp in Chiangmai together with the Sea Games road cycling squad under Graham Seers.

The 26-year-old from Klang started training on a BMX bike early this year.
Rizal already has a SEA Games gold medal in his collection. He won the 1km time trial at the 2007 Korat Games before moving on to win a World Cup gold medal and a world championship bronze medal two years later.

However, he will not be involved in the SEA Games cycling events as Malaysia have decided to field their youngsters.
He claimed silver and bronze in the 1km time trial and team sprint at the Delhi Commonwealth Games last year.

Rizal first tasted success at the Asian level as a keirin rider when he ended a 20-year-old gold medal drought for Malaysia back in 2006.

THE Star

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