Cycling: Endurance squad to be reviewed

NST Online, 12/12/2007

By : Arnaz M. Khairul

Naim says that MNCF will review endurance programme.
Naim says that MNCF will review endurance programme.

THE sprints squad under Australian coach John Beasley is safe, but a revamp might strike the track endurance squad if Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad has his way.

This comes after the spate of embarrassing results by the endurance squad under head coach Ng Joo Ngan in the Sea Games, where not only did they miss what seemed sure gold medals, but times were strikingly poor.With just four gold out of the targeted eight, cycling was among the worst performers in this Sea Games and Naim, who also chairs the MNCF’s track committee, hopes those involved will start looking at available options.

“Even John’s (Beasley) advice was simply not taken into account with people just adamant that they can do it themselves,” said Naim, lamenting the outcome in the Sea Games.

Malaysia took gold through the team sprint trio of Junaidi Nasir, Edrus Yunus and Azizul Hasni Awang, Josiah Ng in the 200m sprint, Rizal Tisin in the 1km time trial and through the team pursuit quartet of Akmal Amrun, Thum Weng Kin, Amir Mustafa Rusli and Jasmin Ruslan.

“If you look at the team sprint, despite problems with injuries and illnesses, they’ve been maintaining progress.”Each time they’re out in competition, they’re likely to renew the national record,” said Naim.

“Rizal had his problems and was out of the squad for some time, but now he’s back and look at the improvement he is showing in the 1km time trial.

“Josiah too looks like he’s back into form after a serious injury at the World Championships. But the endurance squad is simply not improving.

“We will have to review the endurance programme. People seem to be dragging their feet a little too much.”

The possibility of having Danish former US national coach Rene Wenzel on board prior to the Sea Games was there, but it had been ignored.

“He could have probably helped with the overall programme, but people seem to fear bringing in help,” said Naim.

Malaysia lost out big time in the men’s and women’s individual pursuit where Amir Mustafa Rusli and Uracca Leow, hot favourites on paper, clocked in at least six seconds slower than their personal bests to settle for silver.

The points race, featuring World No 1 scratch rider Harrif Salleh, Jasmin Ruslan and Saiful Anuar Aziz, on paper three of South East Asia’s best in the event, also stumbled, failing to even bag a medal.

Nor Azian Alias, Asian Championships bronze medallist in the women’s points race, finished 12th in that event and ninth in the road race, in which she won an Asian Championships silver at the same venue in Nakhon Ratchasima just three months ago.

~ by missjewelz on December 19, 2007.

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