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Preparations on track says cycling coach
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Brunei Darussalam national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin hopes that a national rider will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. – MOHAMAD ASYRAMISYANIE

BRUNEI Darussalam national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin has highlighted that preparations have been running smoothly ahead of an upcoming regional competition in the near future.

The national cycling team has successfully completed phase one at the race venue where the competition will be contested and will now be embarking on phase two which involved a track event.

“We will be going for the second phase for three weeks from June 30 to July 21 in the track event. We’re fairly new to the track event,” said Yafiz in an interview with the media.

The national cycling team has actually competed in the track event during the Commonwealth Games.

The national coach revealed that seven athletes will be taking part in the event in the not-so-distant future.

“We will allocate the events to the athletes based on their appropriateness. We will come up with a strategy based on the schedule of the races and certainly we will race to achieve something out of it,” added the national coach.

Yafiz said that they will be aiming for a medal and that they will be no pushovers or simply making up the numbers.

“Even if we lose we will lose with pride. We will make early preparations and we have prepared since last year and early this year.”

He added that their second place finish in the OCBC competition was also part of their preparations towards the competitive season.

“I am highly confident for this tournament with the confidence of the riders with my own training system that I’ve brought with me after I have returned from the World Cycling Centre.

“I did a course on Diploma in Coaching which is the highest level of a coaching course in the world”.

The Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation has contacted the National Sports Council of Malaysia who showed willingness to provide assistance to use the track facilities as well as bicycles.

Yafiz said that national rider Ahmad Rifa’ie bin Haji Johor boasted experience in the track event having competed in the Asian Cycling Championship in Kazakhstan in 2014 as well as being a mainstay in other track events.

He pointed that the benefits of the national team is being able to train at the designated race venue which is not practiced by other competing nations while adding that the weaknesses of the team is inexperience compared to other nations such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines.

“These are the countries that I can see that it is very tough for us to compete,” added the Malaysian.

He expressed his pride in trying to get the best out of the individuals and assist the country’s riders to accomplish any colour of medal in the grandest stage.

“If the riders want to go really far, this is the time and this is the way for them to prove that they are deserving to be given the support and assistance as well as privilege to lift the country and boost the good image of the country,” he said.

“The medal that they aspire will be for the country and not only as individuals. This is the way for them to show their loyalty for the country after what they have given them.

“Even though I’m a Malaysian, my responsibility lies with this country (Brunei Darussalam). I have to do my job here.”

He also acknowledged the good progress concerning the involvement of athletes in the country with the upcoming third round of the Asian Enduro Cycling Series to be held in Brunei.

“This is good for the cyclists to go far and similar events such as this, will prepare them towards bigger tournaments. If they are well prepared towards bigger tournaments, they will have even greater efforts.

“This will provide an effect to the local riders to pursue even further as they will be competing against strong riders from overseas.

“They will be able to establish their level and the level set by others riders so if these tournaments are being held annually it is not impossible that they will achieve a really good result one day,” continued the national cycling coach.

He added that to be declared a champion does not take one year citing Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang as an example only became world champion after a decade having placed as runners-up and third place during that period.

The Malaysian sporting hero made headlines after winning the men’s keirin in the World Championships in Hong Kong last April.

“These things require exposure, involvement from all parties and should not be relied solely on one party only to realise this ambition.”

Asked about the hopes of the national cycling coach, he added that he is not alone in expressing hopes for the athletes to win medals, adding that he hoped that their planning would help in meeting that objective.

He has also set his sights on more major competitions in the future adding that the upcoming regional tournament could serve as a springboard for the riders’ eligibility and requirements.

“This upcoming competition is a stepping stone for them to go even far. The national team will look forward especially with the Asian and the Commonwealth Games in mind.

“If we show great improvements, it is not impossible that there will be a national representative to represent the country in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” continued Yafiz.

“If we follow my long succession planning that I have made for four years, I target riders to qualify for the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics.

“Even though there is one rider to qualify through merit, that is my target,” concluded the national cycling coach.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin