NATIONAL track cycling coach John Beasley believes Malaysia should place greater emphasis on the sprint disciplines when it comes to development programmes.
The Australian, dubbed as the father of Malaysian track cycling, feels that Malaysians have better chances to shine in sprint-based events such as individual sprint, team sprint and keirin.
Beasley said training for the sprint disciplines is also safer compared to the many hours road riders spend on public tarmac.
“Malaysians should concentrate on the sprint disciplines… that is what they are best at,” said Beasley.
“So that is where I believe all our efforts should go into and this is where we will get our biggest bang for the buck.
“Also, this is the safest discipline of our sport. Parents will not have to worry about their children being hit by a car as track cyclists spend very little time cycling on the road.
“Most of the (training) time is spent either in the gym, on the track, or a stationary bike.”
Southeast Asians are known to have lower aerobic endurance, as proven through lower ‘vo2 max’ test scores, when compared to their counterparts from Europe, North and South America, Australia and Central Asia.
This places them at a disadvantage in track endurance events such as the team and individual pursuit, scratch race, points race, madison and omnium.
Riders like Azizulhasni Awang, Josiah Ng (retired) and Shah Firdaus Sahrom have, in the past, proved that they can mix it with the best in the keirin and individual sprint at the world and Asian-level while riders like Rizal Tisin (retired) and Fadhil Zonis have also achieved commendable results, albeit to a lesser extent, in the 1km time trial.