Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fatehah on a mission

A BRONZE medal should be within reach for Fatehah Mustapa as she aims for another place in history at the Commonwealth Games.

But the 25-year-old former Asian women’s keirin champion is wary of high expectations, particularly with her pet event not contested in Glasgow.

“There’s no keirin at these Games, so my training has been all centred on the 500m time trial. The 200m sprint will be tougher because we’ll be up against the Australians and the British,” said Fatehah.

“My form has been improving. Ahead of the Games, I can say I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been before.”

The elite sprints squad, who are based in Melbourne, headed to Glasgow yesterday with Fatehah and Jupha Somnet to provide the challenge in the women’s events.

The men’s sprints squad will feature Azizulhasni Awang, Josiah Ng, Rizal Tisin, Edrus Yunos and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom.

The track squad have been set a gold medal target in the hope of equalling their best ever performance in New Delhi four years ago, where Malaysia returned with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

Fatehah has been touted as a bronze medal hope, and the cyclist herself is optimistic about her chances.

“The favourite for the two events will be Australia’s Anna Meares. Then there is a host of British riders riding for England, Scotland and Wales,” said Fatehah.
“If it happens, it happens and I’m going to give it my best shot.”

A first medal from a women’s cycling event at the Commonwealth Games has been elusive for Malaysia, but with Fatehah’s rise in form, this could be another historic first for the Kuala Berang-born.

She is also in prime form to create history with a first women’s medal in cycling at the Asian Games.
An added boost for Fatehah came when she was selected as the country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony in Glasgow, replacing the injured Lee Chong Wei, who has withdrawn from the Games.

“That is a huge honour and for sure, I am proud of it,” said Fatehah.


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