NILAI: Unheralded junior cyclist Amar Danial Masri pulled a surprise for the hosts by delivering a silver medal on the third day of the Asian Track Championships in Nilai.
The 18-year-old clocked a superb 1:03.735 in the men’s junior 1km time trial event to erase the previous national junior record of 1:03.962 held by Muhd Firdaus Zonis since 2014.
Firdaus set the time when he won the Asian junior title in Kazakhstan in 2014.
Johor-born Amar gave little indication of his abilities when he qualified fifth fastest in 1:04.182 earlier. But he certainly saved his best for the final.
Thai cyclist Wachirawit Saenkhamwong, who was the last of the eight finalists to ride, managed to deny Amar the gold with his lap of 1:03.397.
Kazakhstan’s Viktor Golov took bronze in 1:03.873.
“I was aiming for a medal only. I knew I had a chance if I can hit my personal best time but I did not expect to go almost a second faster.
“The new national record is a bonus,” said Amar, who is coached by former Asian men’s 1km time trial champion Mohd Edrus Yunos.
Kuala Lumpur SEA Games double gold medallist Muhd Fadhil Zonis failed in his bid to claim a medal in the men’s elite 1km time trial event.
Fadhil’s effort of 1:02.507 only put him in fourth from the eight finalists. The gold went to Japan’s Fukaya Tomohiro, who posted 1:01.686.
Rio Olympian cyclist Fatehah Mustapa failed in her bid to reach the last eight of the women’s elite sprint after she was beaten by China’s Guo Yufang in the second round.
Fatehah had clocked 34.114 to clinch bronze in the 500m time trial event on Saturday evening behind Hong Kong’s former world champion Lee Wai Sze, who topped the final with 33.395.
Song Chaorui from China claimed the silver medal in 34.114.
“It’s my own mistake. I used the wrong strategy in the race against the Chinese opponent. I should have won but she was faster and there was no second chance,” said the two-time Asian champion, who is determined to bounce back stronger in keirin tomorrow.
“I am racing at home and I hope to make the supporters happy. I did not get a medal in keirin last year and I hope to do it here,” added the 29-year-old.
Azizulhasni Awang will return to the track for the defence of his men’s elite sprint title today along with teammate Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom.