Saturday, 2 July 2011

Amir readying up for SEA Games


THERE  are still four months to go before  the Sea Games in Indonesia, but Amir  Mustafa Rusli is already itching for a shot at breaking the one dark cloud that  looms over Malaysian cycling.
The loss of Malaysia's dominance in the men's road race at the regional  level has cast that dark cloud and two consecutive Sea Games without that gold  medal is enough for the 23-year-old Amir.

Having returned from his  European stint with Australian outfit Drapac Professional Cycling, Amir is  taking a break in his hometown of Dungun before joining his national teammates  on a reconnaissance tour of the Sea Games route and venues next week.
"We're not leaving anything to chance. It would be good to go and find  out as much as we can about the route and venue," said Amir.
"Two Sea Games without the road race gold medal is enough. This time I've  set myself a target of two individual gold medals.

"It was a painful  experience to lose the individual pursuit gold medal by a fraction of a second  in Korat in 2007, so I want to finish that job in the velodrome. I want that  gold and the road race gold medal."
Malaysia's last gold medal in the road race, the final addition in a  chapter of dominance of the event that spanned almost two decades was won by  Suhardi Hassan in Tagaytay, the Philippines in 2005.

"We're going  through quite an extensive programme. Right after this, I return to  my team in  Australia and then during the fasting month, the whole national team will be  based in Chiangmai, Thailand for a training camp," said Amir.