National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin was pleased the team managed a second place finish at last week’s OCBC Cycle Southeast Asia Speedway Championship in Singapore after finishing third during last year’s meet. Picture: BT file
(L-R) National cyclists Andrew Mikha Sianong, Abdul Hadrie Morsidi, Azmi Abdul Hadzid, national coach Yafiz Jamaluddin, Abdul Mu’iz Yuzaini and Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara pose for a group photo at the OCBC Cycle Southeast Asia Speedway Championship in Singapore on Saturday. Picture: Courtesy of Yafiz Jamaluddin
THE national cycling team finished second in the OCBC Cycle Southeast Asia Speedway Championship in Singapore on Saturday — an improvement on their third place finish last year.
The Sultanate was represented by captain Azmi Abdul Hadzid, Abdul Hadrie Morsidi, Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara, Andrew Mikha Sianong and Abdul Mu’iz Yuzaini and finished the 10-lap 1km circuit with a time of 20:07.523 to bring home a cash prize of $4,000.
Malaysia retained the championship title after crossing the finish line with a time of 18:05.283 to win the $6,000 cash prize while the Philippines took home $2,000 after finishing third when recording a time of 20:17.583 at the Singapore Sports Hub.
National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaluddin was a happy man when interviewed by The Brunei Times yesterday, and he urged the cycling community and relevant authorities in the country to support the team to prepare for future tournaments — with next year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games set to be the most important event on the teams’ calendar.
“We hope that we can win more races after this, and we also hope that we will get more support… Not only from government but also from the private sector,” he said. “This result is part of our benchmark to qualify for next year’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, and I am happy we managed to put in a good performance.
“We started preparing for this tournament three months ago and the riders were really committed to give it their best, even though we went through some challenges during our preparation... So I really applaud them for that,” Yafiz added. The team’s captain, Azmi, was the only returning rider from last year while the rest were new faces. “Last year we only managed third and this year we made improvements by bringing in young riders for exposure,” continued Yafiz.
“During the race I always told my riders to just focus on qualifying for the next round. “And when we reached the final race, they managed to give it their best performance to finish in a better position. “We managed to rest some of our riders by rotating the riders for the quarter-finals and semi-finals and fielded our strongest team in the final.
“I am glad we managed to finish above Philippines, but Malaysia were just a bit too strong. “Currently, we are still waiting for more race invitations, but next year I will be focusing on track and road events since these are the only two disciplines that will be on offer at the SEA Games,” added the Malaysian.
The competition was held in conjunction with the OCBC 42km community ride that attracted almost 7,000 riders.