Monday, November 21, 2011

Malaysia continue to rule the track

JAKARTA: Malaysia continued to dominate the track cycling events in the Indonesia SEA Games after the men’s 4,000m team pursuit bagged the gold medal at the Rawamangun velodrome here yesterday.

The quartet of Mohd Harrif Salleh, Akmal Amrun, Mohd Adiq Husainie Othman and Amir Mustafa Rusli rode the race of their lives to beat Indonesia in the final and retain the gold medal they won when track cycling was last contested in the 2007 Korat SEA Games.

They clocked 4:36.322 to land Malaysia’s third gold medal in cycling while the Indonesians clocked 4:51.404 for the silver.

The Philippines, who clocked 4:45.900 in the qualifying heat on Saturday, settled for bronze.

Speed up, guys: A Malaysian team coach urging the cyclists to increase their pace during the men’s 4000m team pursuit final against Indonesia yesterday. – AFP
The victory, though, was a sweet one for Harrif, who won his second gold medal after having bagged the 10km scratch race on Saturday.

“I am speechless,” said Harrif, who plies his trade with professional road cycling team Terengganu Pro-Asia.
“We gave our best in the final today and, despite some jeering from the home fans, we managed to control our emotions.”

Except for Adiq, the rest of the riders were also in the team who won in Korat, where they had Mohd Jasmin Ruslan.
“We just went all out in the last 2,000m because we could see that the Indonesians were struggling,” said Akmal.

Meanwhile, sprint queen Fatehah Mustapa will have a busy day today after yesterday’s 5km scratch and team sprint were postponed due to bad weather.
As soon as the afternoon session ended with the national men’s pursuit team landing the gold medal, the skies opened up and race commissaires decided to postpone the remaining events.

Besides the two races, Fatehah will also have the individual sprint final today where she stands a good chance of grabbing the gold medal.
“I’ll have to see how they arrange the schedule tomorrow.

“If I ride in the scratch race first, it will be a bit tiring before I go into the sprint events,” said Fatehah, who had won a gold medal in the 500m individual time trial on Saturday.

“But that is how it is when racing in an open air velodrome. Whatever it is, I am raring to give my best in all three events as I want to make my country proud.”


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