Nur Aisyah Banking On New Equipment For 'race Of Her Life' In Paris

01/03/2024 08:19 PM

NILAI, March 1 (Bernama) -- National road-racing cyclist Nur Aisyah Mohamad Zubir hopes to be given new equipment to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games from July 26 to Aug 11.

The 26-year-old rider from Terengganu said the 'groupset' equipment (gears, brakes, drivetrain) and tyre parts play a crucial role in packing power in the race against the world's top riders.

Nur Aisyah, who will be Malaysia's first female rider to compete in the Olympics, is currently using equipment that is two years old, considered to be behind time compared to the more sophisticated machines used by the main contenders at the Olympics.

"We know full well that we will be racing against world-class riders who use top equipment. If we use anything less, it will be that much more difficult for us to match them. Equipment also plays a role, something like 30 per cent.

"I hope to receive it before leaving for Belgium in May for the final training camp, which includes several European-level competitions, because I need to adapt to the equipment," she said after a visit by Malaysia's Olympics chef de mission (CDM) Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and deputy CDM Datuk Nicol David to the National Velodrome today.

She said the request was conveyed to Hamidin during today's meeting and the response was largely positive.

Nur Aisyah said the focus of her training at the moment is to increase endurance and strength before participating in the Tour of Biwase, Vietnam (March 6-15), followed by a two-week training camp in Chiang Mai and the Tour of Thailand (April 8-10) before leaving for Belgium.

"The race in Vietnam is a measure of performance before going to other tournaments because the route in Paris will be almost 160 km and very challenging. I am training hard to do my best because the Olympics is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she said.

Meanwhile, national road cycling coach Amir Mustafa Rusli, who was happy to see the improvement shown by Nur Aisyah, said it is not wise to rush into intensifying the training programme.

"The commitment she has given is laudable. We will increase the level of difficulty in phases. During the month of Ramadan, we will be busy with competitions and training abroad. Like it or not, we have to work hard for the Olympics.

"At the moment the focus is on endurance and strength training. When she arrives in Vietnam later, then it's speed. I have been monitoring her for the past two or three years. She is indeed a strong and tough rider who can perform miracles," he said.

Nur Aisyah won two silvers through the individual and team mass start road races and one bronze in criterium at the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games, as well as two bronze medals for the individual mass start and criterium events at the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games last May.