KUALA LUMPUR: With more competitive events lined up for them, the national sprint cyclists are expected to stay on the right track to win medals in the Doha Asian Games in December.
Coach John Beasley was pleased with the cyclists’ performances in the track events of the Asian Cycling Championships, which ended yesterday.
In the championships, the sprint trio of Mohd Rizal Tisin, Mohd Hafiz Mohd Sufian and Junaidi Mohd Nasir set a new national record of 1:03.209 on Monday. It was the second time in two months that they rewrote the record.
Yesterday, Rizal chalked up a memorable win for Malaysia in the keirin event.
Beasley said that in the last phase of the Asiad training in Melbourne, he would focus on increasing the speed of the cyclists.
“It was a good championships for our riders, competing against the best in Asia. We had the opportunities to assess them and looking at their progress, I am sure we will win some medals in Doha,” said Beasley.
“Malaysian cyclists have a lot of talent but they take a longer time to mature. Australians have track competitions every week and they are very competitive. One season in Australia is like competing in Malaysia for 10 years.
“With more competitions, the cyclists will know what they need to know at the right time on the track. They (the Melbourne-based Malaysian) cyclists will certainly compete in many races when they get back there.”
On Mohd Azizul Hasni Awang, who won three gold medals in the junior category of the Asian Championships, Beasley said: “He was without doubt outstanding. He will be ready for the challenge in senior competitions in a couple of years.
“There has to be focus on his development – physically and in skills. I will be more than happy to have him in Melbourne.
“There will be a lot of track competitions during the summer and it will be a good exposure for him.”