Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Yafiz 'shattered' by results
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the national cycling team after they finished second last in the men's 100-kilometre team time trial of the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw yesterday.

Only three - Reduan Yusop, Azmi @ Lokman Abd Hadzid and Ahmad Rifa'ie Hj Johor - out of the four national cyclists made it to the finish line with a time of 3:03:43 at Taung Kya Village.

The result meant they finished in seventh position, only beating hosts Myanmar.

Vietnam captured the gold on 2:36:19 followed by Thailand with a time of 2:38:51. Malaysia completed the podium, finishing third after clocking 2:41:41.

Problems arose at the five-kilometre mark after flagging off from the Rose roundabout with Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz failing to keep pace with the rest of the team.

He continued the course towards the tough climb conditions before calling it quits at the 60km mark.

National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin was shattered by the result and was left scratching his head on what happened.

"I'm really disappointed and frustrated. This was not the result that I was expecting. If not for a podium finish, I was expecting at least to finish in the top-five. This was a target race for me to do well," said Yafiz in an interview after the race.

"The course is quite challenging but to me it is not because of that. We knew that before we came here so we went for altitude training in Kundasang (in Sabah) but it was tougher than expected.

"Our rider had a problem from the fifth kilometre mark and couldn't ride well. He seemed really tired and couldn't push to follow.

"It was something I never expected because he is our best rider. It was difficult as we could only push with three pistons instead of four," said the coach.

The Sultanate had to cross the line with at least three cyclists to record a valid time. Having fewer would result in disqualification.

"We needed at least three cyclists to finish the race together and we couldn't leave our rider behind," explained Yafiz.

"It was risky as it can be a big problem with three cyclists as there is no backup. We could be disqualified if we finished with two riders. So I just told them to play safe and complete the race," added the Malaysian.

The national coach is looking to put the result behind him quickly as to focus for their last event.

"We will have a team meeting to see what the problem is. We have another race and we don't want it to happen again. We're only human and it was just not a good day for him," concluded Yafiz.

The five-member team - with Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara being the other - still have a chance to finish with a medal at the biennial Games with the 163km road race event tomorrow.

The national cycling team had opened their account in Myanmar with the cross country olympic event at Mount Pleasant on Friday.

Both participants - Rafiuddin and I'maadi - failed to complete the race. The main target was a strong finish for Rafiuddin but he was hit by bad luck after suffering from a tyre puncture in the first lap of the 4.1km course.

Rafiuddin was the only Bruneian in the men's 50km individual time trial on Sunday where he finished 14th out of 18 participants.

He clocked a time of 1:18:49 in what was his first attempt in the event.

Courtesy from Brunei Times