The SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) council members have voted in favour of six additional cycling events to be included in the Games from Nov 11-22.
The delegates voted 4-1 in endorsing five track cycling events – the men’s sprint, team pursuit and omnium; women’s team sprint and omnium and women’s cross country mountain bike.
This brings the total number of gold medals at stake in cycling to 24 – 12 in track cycling, six in road race, four in mountain bike and two in BMX.
Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad, who was informed by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) of the acceptance through postal votes, said that the respective national Olympic committees were SGF council members as well.
“Five NOCs replied. Four were in favour – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand – while Singapore did not agree to the additional six events,” Naim, who is also the chef-de-mission for the Malaysian contingent to Indonesia, said.
“We were against the exclusion of the events, especially the Olympic disciplines, right from the start and appealed to Indonesia to include them.
“It will boost our hopes of contributing gold medals for the country.”
The news will be well received by the Malaysian cycling camp a day after the confirmation of two quota spots in the men’s road race for the London Olympics next year.
The country’s track cyclists will go in as favourites for the gold medals in the men’s sprint and omnium.
Asian junior champion Arfy Qhairant Amran, together with Melbourne-based Mohd Edrus Yunus, will compete in the men’s sprint while Adiq Husainie Othman and Hafiz Sufian will make a bid to win the first-ever gold medal in men’s omnium.
World Championships finalist Fatehah Mustapa and top junior Ju Pha Somnet will combine for the women’s team sprint, where they are in line to make history as the first Malaysian gold medallists in women’s cycling.
Melbourne-based Fatehah has a heavy roster, as she is also down for the women’s sprint, 500m time trial and 5km scratch race.
Kimbeley Yap, a two-time gold medallist in women’s triathlon, will compete in the women’s omnium.
National champion Masziyaton Mohd Radzi and Junaidah Juss also stand an outside chance of winning the women’s cross country mountain bike event.