PETALING JAYA: Lim Chun Kiat (pic) hopes to be a pastry chef one day but he is putting aside his studies for the moment.
The 20-year-old cyclist from Sabah does not mind focusing full time on improving his skills in the 4km individual pursuit as he eyes a spot at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
“I have rode for the country once – at the South-East Asia cycling championship held in Nilai last year, so I am hoping to get selected for bigger meets like the Asian Games or Asian Cycling Championships, ” said Chun Kiat.
No Malaysian cyclist has won an Asian Games medal in the endurance discipline and that will not be lost on Chun Kiat, who now studies pastry arts.
Many teenagers may still be clueless about their long-term goals but Chun Kiat already has this in mind.
“It is my dream to achieve big things like every athlete but I need to prepare myself to be in a realistic position to fight for it.
“I hope to break the national record next year if the current situation improves, ” said Chun Kiat, who has also taken part in road events and won a bronze in the team time trial event at the National Road Cycling Championships in Melaka in October.
He is now considered the fastest Malaysian in the 4km individual pursuit with his latest time of 4:30.570 set in Nilai recently.
Eiman Firdaus Mohd Zamri holds the national record of 4:25.352 set back at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur but he has since retired from the sport.
Chun Kiat’s time is just outside the 2018 Indonesia Asian Games bronze medal time of 4:29.919 posted by Kazakhstan’s Artyom Zakharov.
2020 started on a bad note when he knocked into the back of a car while going downhill but it ended on a good note for Chun Kiat with a new personal best time.
Chun Kiat suffered facial injuries and had to have two titanium plates inserted as part of the recovery process.
Sabah coach Louis Pang said everyone in the team went through a stressful time and feared the worst.
“It was not about whether he was still able to continue riding but also about his life at stake as he had a concussion and was disoriented while on the way to the hospital.
“It took him so long to get back to where he was and now to see him focused on achieving his long time goal.
“I believe he has the potential to be the top individual pursuit guy in Malaysia and a shot at making history in the Asian Games, which is just less than two years away, ” he said.
Now that’s something worth pursuing.