Two headed for Varese, thanks to Astaman
By : Arnaz M. Khairul
MALAYSIA will be represented in the Under-23 World Championships in Varese, Italy on Sept 23-28, thanks not to the National Sports Council (NSC) but to Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz.
Questions still loom over where all the funding went, as the Malaysian National Cycling Federation's (MNCF) road committee had initially cancelled the trip despite the nation having qualified five riders for the first time.That was said to be due to a lack of funds and an NSC that was both slow in response and reluctant in approach.MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said yesterday that all arrangements had been made for Anuar Manan and Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi to ride in Varese, while the NSC's answer on three more slots, is awaited.It is unlikely that the NSC will respond positively to the application to send three other riders, who are likely to be Loh Sea Keong, Amir Mustafa Rusli and Akmal Amrun.
Akmal has another ray of hope, that is if the Selangor State Sports Council agree to foot his bill.As of yesterday, the only word about the NSC was that cycling liaison officer Noor Azman Kassim "was waiting to see" director general Datuk Zolkples Embong over the matter.After being informed of the plight, Jelajah Malaysia organiser Astaman, had swiftly agreed on Sunday, to bear the costs to send two riders to Varese."So, we immediately made arrangements to send the riders. "The first choices were Anuar, as he earned the most number of points to qualify the nation, then Fauzan, as he'd qualified for the time trial," said Naim.Malaysia had this year qualified as the second ranked nation in the Under-23 category based on UCI Asia Tour rankings behind Iran.