Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sportcheck: Rethink leads to more cycling events

MALAYSIA'S gold medal hopes were given a boost after the Indonesia Sea Games Organising Committee (Inasoc) decided to reinstate six cycling events initially excluded from the biennial Games which begin on Nov 11.

Though there is virtually no hope of a gold medal from downhill mountain biking, which is one of the events now included after the Inasoc executive committee meeting on Sunday, the other five do at least raise expectations.

The reinstatement of the men's 200m sprint, individual pursuit, team pursuit, omnium and the women's team sprint, which now brings the number of track cycling events to 14 from an initial 10, can be seen as a decision that puts Malaysia in a favourable position.

Though it was a last-minute confirmation of the reinstatement, made at the Inasoc's executive committee meeting on Sunday, the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) had already been prepared.
"The selection of riders by the MNCF had been based on the inclusion of these events, so we need not worry about the preparedness of our cyclists," said chef-de-mission Datuk Naim Mohamad, who is also MNCF deputy president.

"From the start, we were confident that the events would be included as Singapore was the only one to object, while Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia were all strongly for it."

Adiq Husainie Othman will be the overwhelming favourite to deliver gold in the multi-event omnium, with compatriot Hafiz Sufian likely to be his main rival.

In the men's 200m sprint, even without the likes of Azizul Hasni Awang, Malaysia will be confident of a gold medal from a strong line-up of Edrus Yunos, Malaysia Games gold medallist Fattah Amri Zaid and Asian Junior champion Mohd Arfy Qhairant Amran.

The team pursuit quartet will likely feature Amir Mustafa Rusli, Akmal Amrun and Adiq Husainie as the mainstays.

The promising Negri Sembilan duo of Amirul Anuar Jafri and Mohd Ekbar Zaman Huri, Terengganu's Mohd Zulhilmie Afif Ahmad Zamri and Pahang's Ahmad Fakhrullah Alias have also been named in the squad.

Whichever combination, it will likely be a Malaysia-Indonesia final in that event.

With Adiq Husainie and Harrif Salleh also strong favourites to top the men's points race, Malaysia can comfortably look at a possible five gold medals from the Rawamungan Velodrome.

Read more:NST

No comments:

Post a Comment