Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (left) having a chat with six-year-old Wan Athea Nadyn at the launch of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 in KL on Thursday.- FAISAL JAAFAR/Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: The tragic death of state cyclist Mohamad Asmui Ali @ Awang in a road accident in Dungun on Wednesday should not be a deterrent to taking up cycling as a sport.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said although it was the second death involving a cyclist training in Terengganu, they were both just unfortunate accidents.
”One should not see the incident as a deterrent to picking up the sport, especially among youths. Every sport has its dangers but as long as you prepare well to avoid accidents, you could mitigate the risks,” he said.
In the incident on Wednesday, Asmui was cycling with 15 teammates at KM71 of Jalan Kuala Terengganu-Kuantan near Pulai Serai, before he fell off his bike and was run over by his escort van. On June 5, Terengganu junior cyclist Muhammad Syafiq Imran Syahril, 15, was run over by a trailer after falling off his bike while training at Kampung Guntung in Kuala Terengganu.
”Just because there were two deaths in recent times involving cyclists doesn’t mean that it is a very dangerous sport,” said Khairy.
He was speaking at a press conference after the launch of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia, a mass participation public event on fully-closed roads, slated to be held from Jan 17-19.
The third edition of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia will be held at Dataran Merdeka and is set to attract 6,200 cyclists, an increase from 5,000 participants last year.
”Some might question why not open it up to 7,000 riders but in order to ensure everyone is riding safely on the roads, we have to limit the number,” said Chris Robb, managing director of Spectrum Worldwide, the organiser.
Also present at the press conference were Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad and OCBC director/chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew.