Thursday, 7 August 2014 | MYT 5:59 PM
Firdaus aims to bag medal in 1km time trial in S. Korea
Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis tore up the track in the junior ranks of the Asian Championships, clocking 1:03.952 to smash the eight-year-old meet record.
PETALING JAYA: After staying unbeaten at the Asian level for the past two years, Malaysian Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis is looking to crank up the pace in the Track Junior World Championships, which begin on Friday in the South Korean city of Gwangmyeong.
Firdaus will combine with younger brother Mohd Fadhil and Mohd Khairil Nizam to kick off the Malaysian campaign in the team sprint. Firdaus, Fadhil and Shahriz Effendi Mohd Shahrin claimed the silver in the team sprint in the junior category of the Asian Cycling Championships in Kazakhstan in May.
But it is in the 1km time trial on Sunday where 18-year-old Firdaus has perhaps the best chance of bagging a prized medal.
Firdaus tore up the track in the junior ranks of the Asian Championships, clocking 1:03.952 to smash the eight-year-old meet record of 1:04.517 held by Kang Dong-jin of South Korea en route to a successful defence of his 1km time trial title.
Firdaus went on to retain his sprint and keirin titles as well, becoming the first Malaysian to achieve the Asian individual treble for the second time in a row.
Coach Junaidi Nasir is optimistic Firdaus has what it takes to take Malaysian cycling to new heights in South Korea.
“Firdaus has a chance to fight for the podium this time. He clocked 1:05.092 in the 1km time trial in last year’s World Junior Championships in Glasgow to finish sixth.
“All the medallists in last year’s meet dipped under 1:03, so that is what Firdaus has to aim for. It’s something within his reach as we have not slowed down training despite the Hari Raya holidays,” said Junaidi.
Firdaus is hoping for better luck in South Korea.
“I was involved in a crash during the team sprint warm-up in Glasgow and ended up with three stitches on my shin. It affected my performance in the remaining events,” recalled Firdaus, who finished 16th in the sprint and exited the keirin in the second round.
For the record, Adiq Husainie Othman won a bronze in the scratch race in Moscow in 2009 for Malaysia’s only medal at the World Junior Championships.
Boys: Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis, Mohd Fadhil Mohd Zonis, Mohd Khairil Nizam, Mohd Shariz Efendi, Afiq Huznie Othman, Asyraf Naim Ying, Akmal Hakim Zakaria, Ahmad Muazzam Iman, Eiman Firdaus Mohd Zamri.
Girl: Farina Shahwati Adnan.