PETALING JAYA: It takes a winner to produce a winner.
With that in mind, the Malaysian Cycling Federation (MNCF) have decided to rope in former national cyclist Datuk Ng Joo Ngan to coach the men’s road team for the Vietnam SEA Games.
After the disappointment of not winning any gold in the road race events at the last SEA Games in Philippines in 2019, MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab hopes they can end the drought in Hanoi in December.
Joo Ngan and the late Daud Ibrahim are the only gold medallists for Malaysia in Asian Games road racing discipline.
Joo Ngan won the road race while Daud took the 1600m massed start at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok and it was only 40 years later before Malaysia saw another cycling champion through Azizulhasni Awang, who won the keirin track event in Guangzhou in 2010.
“Joo Ngan will coordinate the training programme for the road cyclists when they come together for centralised training later this year, ” said Abu Samah.
“He is an experienced coach who is now helping Kuala Lumpur development squad and has produced good cyclists before.
“But we plan to take him only in August as we do not have the funds to do so now.
“Our funds have virtually dried up as we had no income because we could not hold any competitions for more than a year, so we would depend entirely on the National Sports Council to pay his salary, ” said Abu Samah.
MNCF will also adopt a flexible approach to the SEA Games training programme this time by allowing the professional riders to stick to their respective teams.
“They can train on their own with their respective teams now as we do not want their training to be disrupted. They can join the last phase of training with MNCF, ” he said.
“We plan to list the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) riders for the criterium race and Sapura Cycling Team (TSC) riders for individual time trial event.
“We have a modest target of one gold medal as only the road race events will take place this time.”
In the Philippines, Malaysia only managed to secure one bronze medal through Mohd Taslim Shaikh Mohd Raziff in men’s freestyle BMX.