PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian cyclists started their campaign in the Track Junior World Championships in South Korea on a subdued note as they finished way off the podium in the team pursuit and team sprint at the Gwangmyeong velodrome.
The quartet of Ahmad Muazzam Iman, Afiq Huznie Othman, Asyraf Naim Ying and Akmal Hakim Zakaria performed way below par in the team pursuit when they clocked 4:25.320 to finish 12th in the qualifying session.
Although the podium was not the target for them, their time was almost three seconds slower than the time they posted en route to winning the bronze at the Asian Cycling Championships in Kazakhstan in May. Then, they posted 4:22.416 for a new national junior record.
Australia clinched the gold after beating Colombia in the final. New Zealand beat Russia to claim the bronze.
In the team sprint, Mohd Firdaus Mohd Zonis, Mohd Shariz Efendi and Mohd Khairil Nizam met the target set by coach Junaidi Nasir despite finishing seventh in the qualifying session.
The trio posted a time of 1:03.116, well below the 1:04 target.
“I’m satisfied with the trio’s display today because we were targeting a good time below 1:04.
“It was a refreshing performance after the dismal show by the team pursuit as we were better than New Zealand (1:03.435) and Japan (1:03.998),” said Junaidi.
Russia took the team sprint gold after beating South Korea in the final while Poland claimed the bronze.