Yafiz is hoping to have a pool of 13 cyclists. – MOHAMAD ASYRAMISYANIE
BRUNEI Darussalam national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin will be using a track competition in Kuala Lumpur at the end of the year as the benchmark for selection for the much-anticipated 29th SEA Games in 2017.
The national team is currently finding a benchmark in the track competition to convince the selection panel, which will decide the fate of the sport, in meeting the requirements of competing at the region’s showpiece.
Yafiz is conscious of the fact that it is not a long-term planning with the SEA Games less than a year and will be looking for a selected number of riders in addition to the existing riders aiming for a spot in Kuala Lumpur.
‘We will maintain the current riders that we have now but we will have to add more because there are 23 events to be competed in the track in Malaysia,” said Yafiz in an interview with the media recently.
The coach is hoping to have an estimate of 12-13 solid cyclists in the national team with the chosen individuals able to compete in multiple events.
‘We don’t have a track here. For me, exposure and sparring abroad is essential as well as competing overseas in our quest to qualify for the SEA Games,” added the former Malaysia international.
Yafiz highlighted that the significant increase in the quantity of riders will lead to increased membership of riders in the country which subsequently will translate to the growth of the sport in the country.
‘A large quantity of riders in cycling will help us to get quality riders as it is difficult to find any if we rely on a small quantity,’ Yafiz said.
Yafiz said that they received an overwhelming turnout during the recently concluded Lof Bakery Cycling Challenge which was participated by 192 entries and 33 teams.
The Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation (BDCF) had no alternative but to limit the number of entries due to safety concerns.
The coach is calling in the region of 10 to 15 riders to join the national team in preparation for the SEA Games.
Yafiz concluded that more riders would need to be involved to accommodate the existing field of riders in the national setup.