National cyclist Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz during the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar. BT file
2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins (R) will be among the cyclists I'maadi will be up against at this week's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. EPA
National cyclist Muhammad I'maadi Abd Aziz is settling down well in Glasgow, Scotland ahead of tomorrow's 20th Commonwealth Games.
The national contingent arrived on Sunday for Games, where I'maadi is the country's sole representative at the July 23-Aug 3 event. The 22-year-old is set to take part in two track events (Point Race and Scratch) and the road race event (Mass Start), with the former set to run from Saturday to Sunday and the latter on Aug 3. "Everything is well and the accommodation is good too," I'maadi told The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I haven't started training or checked out the venue yet as I'm still waiting for my bike to arrive," he added. Prior to leaving national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin highlighted that the cold weather would be the biggest challenge for his rider. However, I'maadi pointed out that the conditions in Glasgow are not an issue - for now.
"It is quite hot here since it is summer," said I'maadi. "Some of the locals here said it would most probably rain during the road race event, and that is not a good thing for me, (so) hopefully it will be sunny," continued the national cyclist. I'maadi is targeting a top-20 finish for his events and is also looking forward to locking horns with the world's top cyclists.
"(Sir) Bradley Wiggins is racing. and this will be a good experience for me since there are so many pro riders coming to compete," he concluded. 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. He then went on to race at 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. I'maadi finished 10th in the men's Under-23 road race event. According to a previous report in The Brunei Times, this will be the seventh time the country will compete in the Games.
The Sultanate became a member of the Commonwealth in 1984 and established a National Olympic Committee (Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council) the same year. However, it was not until the 1990 edition in Auckland, New Zealand, that Brunei competed in its first Games. Since then, the Sultanate has competed in every edition of the tournament - but has yet to return with a medal.The country was only represented in lawn bowls at the last edition in New Delhi four years ago.
A total of 11 athletes - six men and five women - flew the flag for Brunei at the 2010 Games. The men competed in the singles, pairs and triples while the women laced up for the pairs and triples.