National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaluddin (3rd R) and the national cycling team pose for a group photo after winning bronze at the OCBC Cycle Southeast Asian (SEA) Speedway Championship in Singapore on Saturday. Courtesy of Yafiz Jamaludin
National cyclists during a training session in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in this 2013 file photo. The team tasted success at last week's OCBC Cycle Southeast Asian (SEA) Speedway Championship in Singapore. BT file
THE national cycling team bagged a bronze medal at the OCBC Cycle Southeast Asian (SEA) Speedway Championship in Singapore on Saturday.
The Sultanate claimed third place with an official time of 22 minutes and 54 seconds. Malaysia clinched gold after they cruised through the finish line in 18 minutes and 44 seconds followed by Singapore with 22 minutes and 44 seconds.
Talking to The Brunei Times, national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin said he is really delighted with the team's effort at the OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub. "I am really proud of my athletes' achievement as they never stop working hard in training and sacrificed everything to achieve this success," he said.
"They are in good condition and they have shown good fighting spirit throughout the whole championship. "I never give up with the team and this result shows what these athletes are capable of.
"We raced three times and finished second in all of the stages. However, our team's position dropped to third because we got penalised in the final race but I am still satisfied with the overall result," he continued. The result should come as no surprise for Yafiz, who told The Brunei Times he was expecting at least a top-five finish in Singapore.
"The riders have been preparing hard for this tournament and since these tournaments are only at the ASEAN level, I am expecting them to finish in the top five... But if they can finish in the top three it will be a big bonus for me," he saidin July.
According to The Strait Times newspaper, Brunei suffered a 10-second penalty at the end of the 10-lap race due to an infringement which occurred at the changeover point. The returning rider from the first five laps of the race did not get off his bicycle before the dismount line as he passed his wristband to his partner.
According to the tournament's official website, it is a new relay-format race category which is part of the inaugural OCBC Cycle 2015. The category required four riders in each team riding a total of 10 laps in pairs around a fast and flat 1km course.
The first two cyclists rode five laps before then handing it off to the second pairing, who finished off the remaining laps. The event was sanctioned by the Singapore Cycling Federation and supported by Sport Singapore. A total of six teams – Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines as amongst them - competed for top honours at the August 29-30 competition.
The OCBC Cycle 2015 was also aimed at providing a safe premium cycling platform with a series of unique cycling related activities and also for all riders to ride safely on close roads in the heart of the city, starting from and returning to the newly built Singapore Sports Hub.