The quartet of Afiq Huznie Othman, Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle, Mohd Ameer Ahmad Kamal and Akmal Hakim Zakaria not only fail to defend their title in the event, they came in last in the five-team competition at the Praying Hands Monument in Tagaytay City in Luzon yesterday.
They clocked a disappointing 2’10:01.859 to finish more than 10 minutes behind winners Thailand, the rivals they had beaten to the gold in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn, Peerapol Chawchiangkwang, Sarawut Sirironnachai, Navuti Liphongyu teamed up to cross the finish line in a time of 1’59:39.792, winning by four seconds from Indonesia (1’59:43.926) with the Philippines claiming bronze in 2’01:38.099.
Of the four Malaysian riders, Mohd Ameer and Nik Mohd Azwan were part of the winning team of the previous edition.
Still without a medal after the completion of four events, Malaysia are in danger of returning empty handed for the first time in the road discipline since Palembang 2011.
But they can still salvage something from the men’s road race and men’s team road race which start today at the People’s Park Palace in the Sky, also in Tagaytay City.
The six riders lined up for today are Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, Akmal Hakim Zakaria, Sofian Nabil Omar Bakri, Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, Mohd Elmi Jumari and Irwandie Lakasek.
Unless they can produce a golden finish, it’s going to be an underwhelming outing as Malaysia had won two golds each in Singapore 2015 and Kuala Lumpur 2017.
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