SEA Games cyclist not done yet

Ariana Nurminda Arifin

KUCHING: Sarawak’s first BMX cyclist to make it to the SEA Games, Ariana Nurminda Arifin, is satisfied with her fourth placing finish despite missing out on a podium finish.

Ranked national number one at one time, the ex-track and field athlete who made the switch to cycling about a year ago, was targeting a top-five finish.

Ariana, who trained under Sarawak head coach Leon Schepers, returned to Kuching a few days ago and said her training under the national coach was satisfactory as she had ample time to prepare while there are facilities such as a BMX track to train on.

In Kuching, the BMX track is not available as it needs renovation to make it on par with competition standard.

“Competing in the SEA Games is quite an experience for me for it is the first time I competed at the international level.

“Even though I did not end up on the podium, my fourth placing was okay as my target for the SEA Games was to finish among the top five,” she said. After the SEA Games, Ariana is hungry for more SEA Games to come as she now concentrating on the next target for the Perak Sukma next year. She made her Sukma debut in Kuching last year. She did creditably well to be in the finals but was unfortunate to have crashed during the race.

“My target for the next Sukma is a podium finish as it will be my final Sukma outing,” said Ariana who trains at the track behind the Sarawak Stadium. Ariana is the only cyclist among 52 other state athletes who competed in the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 19-30.

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