PETALING JAYA: The men’s team sprint trio of Mohd Fattah Amri Zaid, Mohd Farhan Amri Zaid and Mohd Fakharuddin Dawod provided the sparkle for Malaysia on the first day of the junior competitions in the Asian cycling championships at the Tenggarong Velodrome in Samarinda, Indonesia, yesterday.
The trio clocked the third fastest time of 50.883 in qualifying yesterday and will take on Iran in a contest for the bronze medal today. China and Japan will battle for the gold medal.
There will be much for Malaysia to look forward to tonight as Farhan and Fakharuddin will also feature in the keirin final.
Farhan, one half of the Amri Zaid twins, finished second in the first round heat to earn direct qualification for the top-six final while Fakharuddin had it harder, coming through as the winner of the repechage round.
Farhan and Fakharuddin will have their eyes set on following in the footsteps of world championship silver medallist Azizul Hasni Awang, who was the last Malaysian to win the men’s junior keirin title in 2006.
Malaysia did not have a representative for the women’s 500m time trial and it was the only event that offered medals on the opening day of the junior track competition.
Malaysian medal hopes are on world junior championships bronze medallist Adiq Husainie Othman when he lines up for the men’s 16km points race together with Zulhilmie Afiq Ahmad Zamri.
The 18-year-old Adiq from Terengganu is down to compete in five events and will be aiming to emerge as the top Malaysian performer in the junior ranks after his exploits in the World Juniors last week in Moscow where he became the first Malaysian to win a medal, a bronze, in the championship series in the 10km scratch race.
Adiq, who only managed to finish 12th in the 20.8km individual time trial yesterday, said that he did not have much rest.
“We spent the whole of Saturday travelling to reach here and we reached the hotel at around 3am on Sunday,” he said.
“Everyone was tired because of the three-hour road trip to Samarinda from Balikpapan. It was a bumpy rile on a hilly route and we could not catch any sleep.”
Malaysia ended their campaign in the senior ranks of the road competition without a medal.
Ng Yong Li finished 16th in the men’s 41.8km individual time trial won by the Beijing Olympic silver medallist Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan. Mariana Abdullah and Kimbeley Yap finished ninth and 12th respectively in the women’s 20.7km individual time trial.