Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
'Nerves to blame for poor showing'
Friday, December 20, 2013

Yafiz Jamaludin

Nerves got the better of the national cycling team during the men's road race event at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw.

They saw their disappointing campaign at the biennial Games come to an end after finishing last for the event on Wednesday.

Only three out of the five Bruneian riders crossed the line at the Leiway Clock Tower in the final eight-rider peloton for a combined time of 14:39:12 in the team classification

The trio of Ahmad Rifa'ie Hj Johor, Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz and Reduan Yusop each came in at 4:53:04 while Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara and Azmi @ Lokman Abd Hadzid were two out of the eight riders that failed to complete the race, which started with 48 participants at the Lane Li Bridge.

National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin was left bewildered, having placed hopes on good finishes in the team events.

"I'm disappointed and frustrated. I don't know what the mistakes are. I think my riders weren't mentality strong enough," said Yafiz in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"They were nervous before the start and it caused them not to cycle properly even from the first group," he explained.

"Being nervous increases the heart rate... It made them lose energy. Weather and the climb were not problems because we have trained under a similar situation at Kundasang (Sabah).

"Everyone on the team set a target for a medal to bring back home. I want to say sorry on behalf of my cycling team to all Bruneians and also to the government because they have already supported us in so many ways," he added.

"I'll do a post mortem before flying back to Brunei to find out what happened and before I make a new (game plan) for the next SEA Games.

"The winner is from Laos and it was unexpected but he showed that he could do it. So I have to find out what actually happened to our riders that caused them not to perform well," continued the Malaysian.

The Dec 11-22 Games is certainly one to forget for the national cyclists.

The team finished second last out of eight countries - beating only hosts Myanmar - in the men's 100km team time trial on Tuesday.

They clocked a time of 3:03:43 and were 27 minutes off the pace from winners Vietnam.

The national cycling team had opened their account in the competition 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