National cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin (3rd R) and the rest of the national cycling team pose for a group photo after Brunei won bronze in the team road race at the 2010 SUKMA in Melaka. Yafiz is targeting more podium finishes at July’s SUKMA in Sarawak. Picture: BT file
BY AK FAUZI PG SALLEH
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - NATIONAL cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin has selected six riders for the Malaysia Games (SUKMA) to be held in Sarawak in July.
Junior cyclists Muhammad Al-Waie Hj Aini, Abdul Mu’iz Hj Yuzaini, Amiruddin Hj Mohamad Amir, Muhammad Hamizan Hj Herman, Muhammad Feasal Firdaus Mohd Nurfadillah and Muhammad Abdul Hadi Seripin will represent the country at the 18th edition of the tournament. The national team will be competing in the individual, team, mass start, criterium, downhill and cross country events at the July 22-31 SUKMA.
All the riders will be competing in the individual events while the team event will group Amiruddin, Muhammad Hamizan, Muhammad Feasal Firdaus and Muhammad Abdul Hadi together.
Brunei won bronze in the team road race at the 2010 SUKMA in Melaka, and Yafiz said that the target is another podium finish in Sarawak.
“This is going to be a very tough competition since I am taking many young riders this year, but we will fight for medals,” said Yafiz in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“We are still not sure how the terrain is going to be like, but I want all my athletes to just focus on training now.
“Currently all the athletes are training six days per week, with Friday their only rest day.
“They have double sessions every day and though there is only one session on Sunday, it is a very long ride.
“I can say that all the riders have reached 70 to 80 per cent of their performance level.. And I hope that this month we will be able to reach 90 per cent.
“During the fasting month in June I expect all athletes to be 100 per cent,” he added.
Brunei received its official invitation to participate at the Games last month following a courtesy call from Sarawak’s Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom.
The sultanate sent a 25-member contingent to compete in athletics, karate, pencak silat, sepak takraw and taekwondo at the last edition of the tournament in Perlis in 2014.
Karateka Md Izzuddin Irfan Md Faizal delivered the country’s only medal after he finished at the top of the podium in the 84kg and above category kumite event.
Brunei finished at the bottom of the 15-team table with only one gold medal in Perlis.
The Federal Territories won the tournament when they finished with 55 gold, 38 silver and 49 bronze medals.
They were followed by second-placed Terengganu, who raked in 51 gold, 55 silver and 31 bronze medals.
Sarawak were third with 48 gold, 32 silver and 35 bronze medals.
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times