Selangor's Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis (left) on his way to beating Terengganu's Asyraf Naim Ying in the men's 200m sprint semi-finals at Sukma on May 30, 2014. – Izzrafiq Alias/THE STAR
KANGAR: Rain caused the finals of the 200m sprint cycling event to be put on hold, but it will not douse the burning desire of Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis of Selangor to win the gold medal.
Although Sukma holds little value compared to the gold medals he recently won at the Asian Cycling Championships (ACC), it is something that the 18-year-old has yet to win.
At the ACC in Kazakhstan recently, Firdaus retained his 1km time trial, 200m sprint and keirin junior titles from last year.
The Sukma event will continue on Saturday at the Changlun-Kuala Perlis highway after officials decided it would be too dangerous to continue the finals in the rain – something that would not happen in an indoor velodrome.
“I know this is just Sukma, but I’m still pumped up to win it. In my last Sukma in Pahang (2012), I just finished fifth in the sprint,” said Firdaus.
With his credentials, many would think it would be easy for Firdaus to bag the 200m sprint gold, not to mention the 1km time trial too, as he is the current Asian junior record holder for the event with a time of 1:03.962.
“I don’t think it would be that easy. I still have to race for it and my opponent should put up a tough fight tomorrow,” said Firdaus.
He will face Muhd Arfy Qhairant Amran of Malacca, the silver medallist from the Pahang Games. However, Arfy recently switched to endurance events with the national squad which tilts the balance in Firdaus’ favour.
Meanwhile, Asian junior keirin bronze medallist Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan of Selangor will face Lauretta Eva Adrian of Sabah in the women’s 200m sprint final on Saturday.