Punctured tyre costs Mohd Harrif the gold in 10km scratch event

KUALA LUMPUR:  A punctured tyre cost national rider Mohd Harrif Salleh the gold medal in the men’s elite 10km scratch event at the 32nd Asian Cycling Championship (ACC) and 19th Asian Junior Cycling Championship at the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome here yesterday.

He experienced the problem in the seventh lap of the 30-lap race.

“I had never experienced this problem in competition before and it left me in a panicked state. When the coach told me to continue (after the puncture was fixed) I tried my very best to get back in the race,” said Mohd Harrif, 23, who eventually managed to clinch the bronze medal, a feat in itself after puncture problem.

Having won the gold medal in the same event at the 2007 ACC in Thailand and the last SEA Games in Palembang, he was a sure bet for the gold medal in the race.

Taiwan’s Feng Chun Kai took the gold while the silver was won by Thurakit Boonratanathanakorn of Thailand.

In the women’s elite 7.5km scratch event, national rider Ju Pha Som Net could only manage fifth placing. — Bernama

Hong Kong’s Diao Xiaojuan won the gold while Panwaraporn Boonsawat (Thailand) and Maki Tabata (Jepun) the silver and bronze respectively.

The first round of the keirin event which took place yesterday saw Azizulhasni Awang and Josiah Ng having to compete in repechage rounds to book their places in the semi-final.

Josiah who finished second in the third heat was stripped of the position after the commissaire held that he had made some dangerous moves, leaving him to have to compete in the repechages to qualify for the semi-final.

“I just had my chance to race in front of the home crowd after 10 years and I told myself to put in some extra show but it got me a little bit into trouble. Usually, the commissaire (officials in competitive cycling) will give warning if it does not do any harm to other riders.

“I felt a little lethargic today but it is okay for me to get extra warm-up for tomorrow (semi-finals). I just want to make it to the  finals,” said Josiah.

At the last ACC in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Josiah won the silver in the keirn while Azizulhasni the bronze. — Bernama

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