National cycling coach Yafiz
Jamaludin (C) posing with
national cyclists during the
pre-Southeast Asian (SEA) Games
cycling competition in
Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in May.
The team finished third in
the team road race event.
Picture: Courtesy of Bros
National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin is confident Brunei can win medals if they go to the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.
After the disappointment of being left out of the 2011 contingent to Indonesia, Yafiz told The Brunei Times that the team are likely to book a ticket to Myanmar come December.
"We will go for sure this time as we have already shown improved performance in the last two years," said Yafiz yesterday.
"I trust my riders to give it their best... And the chance of a podium finish is quite high.
"I'm targeting to win medals in the team events such as the team road race and the mountain bike cross country relay, but if we can secure more wins that will be a bonus for us," added the Malaysian.
Yafiz has changed the team's training routine during Ramadhan to 10pm to 12am from their usual practice sessions which can sometime last up to eight hours.
Their conditioning training involves physical and weight training on alternative days, six times a week to make sure they stay in shape for the Games.
"That (SEA Games) is why all of my 10 cyclists still want to take part in our night practice to increase their performance," said Yafiz.
"Their performance will improve if they cycle everyday, but we still have to control their progression step by step.
"One day of not training is considered rest, and their performance will slowly deplete after two to three days of rest.
"Anything more than that, and the training they did will be useless," stressed Yafiz.
Yafiz's long term plan is to develop the track team for next year's Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
The Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19-Oct 4 while the Commonwealth Games will be hosted in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23-August 3.
For now though, they will have to start collecting points to qualify for the two tournaments which can be obtained by placing in the top 10 spots in upcoming races.
The last two months have been successful ones for Yafiz's squad after the track team secured bronze in the first leg of the team sprint and silver in the second leg during the Asian Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur.
I'maadi Abd Aziz also won silver during the Kuala Lumpur Open Track Cycling Championships in the elite men's category 15km scratch race.