PETALING JAYA: Local coach Jamaluddin Omar will be replaced while foreign expertise will be sought as the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) take steps to check the slide in the standard of the road riders.
The cycling team returned from the Laos SEA Games with a final tally of one silver and two bronze medals – the first time since Manila in 1981 that the sport had failed to contribute a gold medal to the country.
The cycling squad’s campaign was also marked by controversies over the ill-planned schedule of the arrival of the mountain bike riders and the last-minute decision to drop Loh Sea Keong from the road squad when the cyclist was already in Vientiane.
MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said after the exco meeting yesterday that an eight-man task force would be set up to look at the status of the road squad and overhaul their training programme.
“We want to get the road programme back on track again.
“We will identify a suitable replacement for the local coach and we will also look for an experienced foreign coach to assist him,” said Naim, who added that the changes were imperative as major assignments were in store for the cyclists this year.
“We will recommend that a foreign coach be hired to help guide the road squad as John Beasley (the coaching director) already has his hands full handling the track programme.
“Our short-term goal this year are for the road cyclists to do well in five competitions – the Tour of Malaysia, Tour of Langkawi, Asian Championships in Dubai, all in the first half of the year, followed by the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games later.
“These competitions will form the guidelines towards qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London.
“Our goal is to get the road cyclists to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.
“I am confident this is a reachable goal as our riders have made the grade for the Under-23 World Championships in the last two years,” added Naim, who has been appointed the team manager for the Asiad in Guangzhou.