Wednesday, 2 September 2009

MNCF told to fight its own battle

By Arnaz M. Khairul

THE International Cycling Union (UCI), as much as it is supports Malaysia's quest to reinstate the 1km time trial into the Asian Games next year, will not interfere with decisions made by the organisers.

As such, as stated in a response from UCI president Pat McQuaid to the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) track development committee, it is the national body's battle to fight.

This echoes Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar's call for the MNCF to fight its case. And its track committee chairman Datuk Naim Mohamad said he will go as far as it takes to get the event reinstated.

The 1km time trial, an event which has been targeted by Malaysia with programmes funded by the taxpayers put in place since 2005, has been removed from the programme by the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (GAGOC) just a year before the Games.

Rizal Tisin is the current World No 5 in the event and holds the Asian record.

This has raised fury within the MNCF, and a first appeal made by its president Abu Samah Wahab via the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) was last month rejected by GAGOC.

"In McQuaid's response to our request, he was supportive of us, but at the same time he said as much as he wished to help, the international body could not interfere with a continental matter," said Naim.

"We will have to pursue the matter with the help of the ACC. It is starting to look more and more like a dead end but we will have to go as far as it takes to get this event reinstated."

Naim had two weeks ago written an official appeal to the UCI, GAGOC and the ACC, seeking reinstatement of the event.

"We just have to keep asking the questions. They've excluded the 1km time trial, but included the women's 500m time trial. We stand a chance for medals in both events, with Fatehah Mustapa more than capable of delivering in the women's event," said Naim.

"So, we are in a tricky situation. If we keep asking them why they included the 500m time trial when it, too, is not an Olympic event like the 1km time trial, and they in turn remove the 500m time trial as well, we stand to lose more.

"So, we have to approach it in a diplomatic manner. We have to present our case to GAGOC and whoever it takes to get the event reinstated, professionally.

"This is so that they understand our predicament and don't look at us as merely hungry for medals. Our government has invested a lot in this programme and in our 1km time trial riders, so we don't want it to go to waste," said Naim.

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