The Track Cycling girls did Malaysia proud by winning the Omnium event at the South-East Asia Track Grand Prix II at the Cheras Velodrome. Melbourne-based cyclist Jupha Somnet was all smiles as she rode closer to her Rio Olympic dreams, and teammate Nurul Alissa Mohd Azman took silver on the podium.
The 22-year-old Jupha bagged the women’s omnium gold in style after winning the sixth and final event of the gruelling race. The omnium – comprising the scratch, individual pursuit, elimination, 500m time trial, flying lap and points races was held over two days.
Jupha came out tops in all six to amass a total of 292 points, while teammate Nurul Alissa Mohd Azman took silver with 237 points ahead of Indonesia’s Fitriani, who posted 228 points. Jupha also won the event at the Grand Prix I on Wednesday but the second triumph brought more satisfaction to her.
“I did not get any ranking points as only riders from two other countries participated in the first meet. Today, there were competitors from four countries and I earned 60 points for my Olympic rankings. It is important that I compete in more Grand Prix events and collect points,” said Jupha.
Ju Pha will be the third track cyclist after Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa to compete at the Rio Olympics next year if Malaysia remains inside the top-five ranked Asian countries in the event.
Malaysia are currently 21st in the Olympic rankings ahead of Japan (25th) and Taiwan (27th). China (16th) and Hong Kong (18th) are the top two ranked Asian nations in the omnium.
Meanwhile, Azizulhasni Awang made way for his training partner Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom to win the keirin on Saturday. Firdaus failed to collect any ranking points after he crashed in the final during the Grand Prix I on Wednesday but the 19-year-old rode past his more illustrious team-mate to secure the 60 points at stake.
In the women’s final, Fatehah Mustapa out-sprinted Ireland’s Shanon McCurley for the title. Fatehah also won the sprint gold on Friday.
Men’s elite keirin: 1. Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Mas), 2. Azizulhasni Awang (Mas), 3. Worawut Kapunya (Tha), 4. Abdul Hadrie Morsidi (Bru), 5. Kisnanto Nugroho (Ina), 6. Pongthep Tapimay (Tha).
15km scratch: 1. Timur Gumerov (Uzb), 2. Sofian Nabil Omar (Mas), 3. Irwandie Lakasek (NSC).
Women’s elite keirin: 1. Fatehah Mustapa (Mas), 2. Shanon McCurley (Irl), 3. Rasee Panaray (Tha), 4. Fitriani (Ina), 5. Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan (Mas), 6. Myrtie Hagedorn (Rsa).
Omnium: 1. Ju Pha Somnet (Mas) 292pts, 2. Nurul Alissa Mohd Azman (Mas) 237, 3. Fitriani (Ina) 228.
Men’s junior 16km points race: 1. Muhd Izat Tolha (Sel), 2. Muhd Denial Haikkal Suhaidee (NSC), 3. Muhd Fatin Fizren Darus (Joh).
Source: The Star