Malaysian road cyclist Nurul Suhada Zainal is delighted after finishing third in the women's mass start at the Singapore SEA Games on Saturday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Sometimes, one chance is all you need to shine in sports.
And cyclist Nurul Suhada Zainal did not waste the opportunity. She will go home with a cycling bronze medal from Singapore SEA Games.
The 21-year-old policewoman was behind Ju Pha Somnet and covering for her Melbourne-based team-mate in the women’s mass start road race at the Marina Bay South.
Ju Pha was in the leading pack heading towards a sprint finish – and a chance for gold – when one of the parts in her bicycle broke with just two kilometres to go.
Nurul plodded on. With 250m to go, she made a frantic dash to the finish line of the gruelling 94.9km race and was rewarded with a bronze, behind Thailand’s Jutatip Maneephan, who won the criterium gold medal on Friday.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi That, the silver medallist in women’s criterium, got the gold.
The bronze is still a fine achievement for Banting-born Nurul, considering that Jutatip and Thi That won gold and silver at the Incheon Asian Games last September.
“I was covering for Ju Pha the entire length of the race. Harrif Saleh did well to get a gold in men’s criterium yesterday (on Friday) and we wanted to achieve something also.
“She had to slow down after one of the parts in her bike broke and it was all up to me.
“I saw an opening and went for it. I’m happy to get a bronze after finishing fourth in criterium race,” said Nurul, who only started serious training in March.
The Star Online