INCHEON – A strategy error cost Malaysia the gold medal in the Men 97.2 km Road Race at the Songdo Road Cycling Course in the Asian Para Games here Friday.
Due to the blunder, Malaysia’s pair of Mohd Khairul Hazwan Wahab and Mohd Razif Mohd Salleh had to be content with a bronze medal after clocking two hours 24:12 seconds.
National head coach Mohd Johari Nayan said his boys made a big mistake in allowing host competitors Kim Jong Gui and Chun Dae-Hong to lead them in the third round.
“Earlier, before the race, we discussed on the best tactic and according to the plan, they should tail their rivals closely and not allow the gap to widen.
“There were not many participants, so they cannot be too far from the other competitors, otherwise the latter will slip away easily,” he told reporters
after the race.
The host team took the gold with a time of 2:18:35 seconds, while Japan’s Tatsuyuki Oshiro and Koji Miyakoshi, who also managed 2:24:12 seconds, were awarded the silver in a photo finish decision.
The Malaysian squad had initially targeted a gold medal in the event.
“Attributing the failure to the windy condition or that they could not get the cadence until the third round is unacceptable,” said Mohd Johari.
However, he said, the squad had improved, compared to its performance in Guangzhou four years ago. – BERNAMA