PETALING JAYA: Young cyclists Bong Yong Xian and Waldron Chee continued to defy the odds to claim podium finishes in the men’s junior points race at the Taiwan Track Cup 1 in Kaohsiung.
After coming in eighth in the men’s junior scratch race on Saturday, it was 18-year-old Yong Xian’s turn to shine when he finished second behind Taiwan’s Li Ting-wei in the 16km distance race yesterday.
Waldron kept his pace to claim bronze. A day ago, he rode to a stunning gold-medal win in the scratch event.
Chika Cherryca Chia, the only female cyclist for Cycology Sabah Racing Team, came close to winning a medal when she finished fourth in the women’s junior sprint event.
Yong Xian, Waldron and Chika moved from Sabah to train at the National Velodrome in Nilai almost a year ago, thanks to the support from the state government and sponsors.
They moved because there is no training facilities for track cycling in Sabah.
Sabah head coach Louis Pang said it was totally an unexpected result from a group of newcomers to track cycling.
“They started to train under me less than two years ago and now we have made it to the podium in a UCI Class 1 track cycling competition, with 13 countries participating,” said Louis, who is preparing the cyclists for the Malaysian Games (Sukma) in Johor next year.
“This was the first international race for this team. They raced with guts and without fear.
“We learned a lot and made some mistakes working outside our comfort zone.
“We’re just happy and grateful to be here, so winning is a bonus.”
Malaysia also bagged a silver from the men’s elite team sprint trio of Amar Danial Masri, Muhd Khairil Nizam Rasol and Taib Azamudin.
The trio posted 1:04.889 to finish second behind Kazakhstan (1:04.289).
Muhd Shariz Efendi finished fourth in the men’s elite sprint while Anis Amira Rosidi (pic), who took gold in the women’s elite keirin on Saturday, was fifth in the women’s elite sprint.