Athletes compete during last week's IAAF Diamond League Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland. National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin feels that the cold weather could play a part in Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz's performance at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: EPA
National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin said that the weather in Scotland will be the main challenge for Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"Obviously the weather will be the main problem for him (Muhammad I'maadi)," said Yafiz in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday. "Even though it is summer now in Scotland, it is still going to be very cold and I hope that the three months training in Switzerland and the tournament in Kazakhstan will help him adjust quickly to the weather."
Temperatures are expected to hover around 19 degrees celcius during the July 23 - Aug 3 Games. Muhammad I'maadi was given the opportunity to train at the 2014 Under-23 Road Training Camp at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, in March for three months.
"From past experiences, the cold always gave him problems, especially at the start but he slowly adapted to the weather in the middle and towards the end of the race," said the coach. "In terms of his diet, we are now in the fasting month and it has affected his performance a little in training but I hope that he will be able to maintain his performance during the race,"
The 22-year-old will take part in two track events (Point Race and Scratch) and the road race event (Mass Start). "The last update on the website of the Games said that our event will be on July 24th but everything will be finalised during the managers' meeting on the day before the event," said the coach.
In a previous report in The Brunei Times Muhammad I'maadi said that he was aiming for a top 20 finish at the Games. "That showed how confident he is ahead of the race and that is his personal target. If he could achieve that it will be a very good result," said Yafiz.
"As we all know, the Commonwealth Games is a very high level race and a majority of the participants at the Games will be professional riders. It will be very difficult to compete against these professional athletes. "If I was asked if we had a chance at a medal in the tournament, the answer would be impossible... as the Malay saying goes ukur baju di badan sendiri (one should know one's own ability)," said Yafiz.
"My realistic target for him would be to finish in the top 30 but we must know there are more than 100 professionals in the event. "If he can finish in the top 20 it will be a bonus for me and it will be very good for his future as he is still young and can go far in the sport but if he manages to win a medal, he will make history for Brunei," added Yafiz.
Muhammad I'maadi's last competition was the Asian Cycling Championships (ACC) in Astana, Kazakhstan from May 21-26. Brunei was the best finisher among the ASEAN countries in the competition, finishing sixth among the Asian countries.
Muhammad I'maadi finished 10th in the men's Under-23 road race event.