NATIONAL cyclist Fauzan Lufti showed that he’s just as good racing on the track as he’s on the road.
In 2005, he won the team pursuit gold in track cycling at the Manila Games.
Now, 12 years later, he was back atop the podium in the men’s 51km time trial road cycling in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
Fauzan helped the team – comprising Mohd Azwan Zulkiflie, Muhammad Ameer Ahmad Kamal and Muhammad Ameen Ahmad Kamal – to the gold after clocking 1’01:37.893.
It’s the second gold for Malaysia in cycling following Harrif Saleh’s successful defence of his men’s criterium title on Monday.
The Thai team of Peerapol Chawchiangkwang, Phuchong Saiudomsin, Nawuti Liphongyu and Turakit Boonratanathanakorn clocked 1’01:56.104 for the silver.
Vietnam’s Truong Tai Nguyen, Nguyen Hung Mai, Thanh Tung Huynh and Duc Tam Trinh picked up bronze in 1’02:00.891.
Malaysia managed a bronze in the time trial event at Myanmar 2013 but the event was not included in Singapore two years ago.
Fauzan hinted that the KL edition could be his last SEA Games as he’s considering calling it a day.
“This may be the last gold for me before I retire. But we shall see.
“But if the country needs me, I will ride on,” said Fauzan.
The 31-year-old was persuaded by coach Syed Mohd Hussaini Syed Mazlan to join the team three months before the Games sarted.
“I did not want to compete in the Games, but the coach persuaded me to come back because of my experience.
“I’m glad I have proven that as well as boosted the spirit (of my teammates) today,” said Fauzan.
Syed Mohd also thanked everyone involved, especially the Terengganu Sports Council, for sponsoring the bicycles for the national team.