Malaysian team let down by lead rider Sea Keong

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 14 Sep 2006

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s team time trial event of the Asian Cycling Championships ended early here yesterday – no thanks to off-form lead rider Loh Sea Keong. 

The hope was on Sea Keong to set the pace in the 89.6km race but he dropped out after just 13km. 

Sea Keong, who rides for the Marco Polo team in Holland, was not in the best of conditions to tackle the steep stages and he dropped behind. The other three riders – Mohd Nor Umardi, Mohd Rauf Nur Misbah and Shahrulneeza Razali – had no choice but to slog on for seventh place in the eight-team race with a time of 2’07:22. 

South Korea won the race in 1’52:47 ahead of Iran (1’54:46) and Japan (1’55:57). 

TOUGH GUYS: (from left) South Korea’s Park Sung-baek, Kim Dong-hun, Youm Jung-hwan and Lee Won-jae celebrate after winning the 89.6km team time trial gold in the Asian Cycling Championships.

The Malaysian quartet were, after all, not expected to challenge strongly for a medal, considering that they only started training together for the event last week. However, coach Aminudin Sulaiman was still disappointed that the team failed to put up a good challenge. 

“Sea Keong failed to keep up with the team in the early stages and there was no way for us to aim for even a top-four finish,” he said. 

But there is still hope for Malaysia to bag another medal after having won four golds, five silvers and three bronzes in the just-concluded track events.  

Four gold medals will be contested in the junior and senior individual time trial events today. 

Spain-based cyclist Ng Yong Li, who rides for the Under-23 squad of Wurth-Astana, is the best hope for a medal in the men’s senior race. Yong Li, however, will face stiff competition from the professional riders, among them Iran’s Ghader Mizbani and Kazakh Adrey Mizurov. 



    Men’s 89.6km team time trial:

  • 1. South Korea (Kim Dong-hun-Lee Won-jae-Park Sung-baek-Youm Jung-hwan) 1’52:47, 2. Iran (Hossein Askari-Alireza Haghi-Ghader Mizbani-Abbas Saeidi) 1’54:46, 3. Japan (Yoshiyuki Abe-Hiroshi Satoshi-Makoto Iijima-Masahiko Mifune) 1’55:57; Selected: 7. Malaysia (Loh Sea Keong-Mohd Nor Umardi-Mohd Rauf Nur Misbah-Shahrulneeza Razali) 2’07:22. 

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