Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Tyre puncture takes air out of cycling team
Saturday, December 14, 2013

Luck was definitely not on Brunei's side as national cyclists Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara and Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz failed to complete the cross country olympic event in the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw.

The duo pulled out of the 4.1-kilometre course with two laps remaining at Mount Pleasant.

I'maadi would finish in 22nd position out of 27th riders with Rafiuddin another two spots back.

Rafiuddin had a good start and kept up with the leading pack before suffering a tyre puncture in the opening lap that saw him lose out on precious time.

"I was unlucky and I'm disappointed because of a technical problem (tyre puncture)," said Rafiuddin in an interview with The Brunei Times after the race. "I was aiming for a strong finish because my form was good."

I'maadi participated in the race to accompany Rafiuddin and felt that his compatriot was capable of finishing in the top-five.

"The race was alright for me. It was bad luck for my teammate though because I believed he could have at least finished in the top-five," said Imaadi.

"My focus is on road racing and this race was to help me get into the feel of competition. I'm hoping to do well then," he added.

National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin never expected anything out of the race considering that all his riders at the biennial Games aren't specialists in the discipline.

"I'm not really disappointed because we had no expectations for the event. The target was to try to get Rafiuddin to finish strongly while I'maadi was just there to accompany him for the event," said Yafiz.

"However, it was just bad luck that he (Rafiuddin) suffered a tyre puncture. He managed to keep up with the leading pack and was just behind the Thai rider (who won bronze). It resulted in him losing too much time and he couldn't catch up," he added.

"It was more of a warmup event for I'maadi because the main target for him is the road race. This was to help him prepare and get rid of any nerves before the main event," continued the Malaysian.

Ahmad Rifa'ie Haji Johor, Azmi @ Lokman Abd Hadzid and Reduan Yusop are the trio who make up the rest of the five-man cycling team in Myanmar.

The team will continue their campaign with the road events beginning tomorrow.

Courtesy from Brunei Times