PETALING JAYA: Former footballer Zuhairie Ahmad Tarmizi has done it again.
The 29-year-old para cyclist rose to the occasion to grab the first gold for Malaysia at the Asian Track Cycling Championships in Jincheon, South Korea, yesterday.
Zuhairie won the 1km time trial (C4-C5) event in a time of 1:08.934 with Indonesia’s Mohd Fadli Immammuddin coming in second (1:12.673) and Malaysia’s Mohd Najib Turano in third place (1:13.502).
At last year’s Asian Para Games in Indonesia, Zuhairie also bagged the first gold medal for the country.
Zuhairie won the road race C5 at the Sentul International Circuit at that time and was pleased to be on top of the podium again.
“There was pressure to win as we missed out on gold in the earlier events, ” said Zuhairie.
“I’m glad I did not make any mistake and managed to defend the title I won earlier this year (2019 edition in Indonesia), ” said the Terengganu cyclist, who switched to para track cycling after losing his right hand in 2012.
The para cyclists also contributed three silvers through Aiman Asyraff Ahmad Bajuri-Nur Rizuan Zainal in the 4km individual pursuit (B), Mohd Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin in the 1km time trial (C1-C3) and Nur Suraiya Zamri-Nurul Suhada Zainal in the 3km individual pursuit (B).
The greenhorn and veteran partnership also contributed to Malaysia’s first-ever medal in women’s elite team sprint through Anis Amira Rosidi-Fatehah Mustapa at an Asian meet stage.
The 30-year-old Fatehah was the starter before handing it over to Anis, who is 10 years younger, to win the bronze medal with a time of 34.792.
The duo overcame Hong’s Kong Yeung Cho Yiu-Li Yin Yin, who posted 34.925, in the medal rounds.
China’s Zhuang Wei-Zhang Linyin claimed gold with 33.423 edging South Korea’s Kim Soo-hyun-Lee Hye-jin (34.139).
It is the first Asian meet medal for Anis, who is the only woman cyclist training under John Beasley in their Melbourne base.
The performance will boost Fatehah’s confidence as she will shoulder the challenge in the 500m time trial today.
Azizulhasni Awang and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom will also be eyeing glory when they compete in the keirin today.
Azizul last won the keirin gold at the Asian meet in Korat, Thailand in 2015 while Shah Firdaus was the silver medallist in Jakarta in January this year.
Shah Firdaus, Mohd Fadhil Zonis and newcomer Mohd Fariz Haikal Kadir missed out on the bronze in the team sprint when they were beaten by South Korea earlier.
For gold: Japan (Kazuki Amagai, Yudai Nitta, Tomohiro Fukaya) 43.653 bt China (Zhou Yu, Luo Yongjia, Zhang Miao) 44.177.
For bronze: South Korea (Kim Dongha, Kim Changsu, Seok Hyeyun) 44.920 bt Malaysia (Fariz Haikal Mohd Kadir, Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom, Mohd Fadhil Zonis) 45.066.
4km individual pursuit (B): 1. Japan (Kazuhei Kimura, Takuto Kur abayashi) 4:25.779,2. Malaysia (Aiman Asyraff Ahmad Bajuri, Nur Rizuan Zainal) 4:50.491,3. Singapore (Tee Wee Leong, Ang Kee Meng) 4:54.100.
1km time trial (C1-C3): 1. Shota Kawamoto (Jpn) 1:11.428,2. Mohd Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin (Mas) 1:14.127,3. Jin Yongsik (Kor) 1:15.068.
1km time trial (C4-C5): 1. Zuhairie Ahmad Tarmizi (Mas) 1:08.934,2. Mohd Fadli Immammuddin (Ina) 1:12.673,3. Mohd Najib Turano (Mas) 1:13.502.
For gold: China (Zhuang Wei, Zhang Linyin) 33.423 bt South Korea (Kim Soo-hyun-Lee Hye-jin) 34.139.
For bronze: Malaysia (Fatehah Mustapa, Anis Amira Rosidi) 34.792 bt Hong Kong (Yeung Cho Yu, Li Yin Yin) 34.925.
3km individual pursuit (B): 1. Japan (Noa Yamaguchi, Sakura Yamamoto) 3:50.859,2. Malaysia (Nur Suraiya Zamri, Nurul Suhada Zainal) 4:01.816,3. Malaysia (Nur Azlia Syafinaz Mohd Zais, Noraidillina Adilla) 4:03.177.
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