Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mohd Ridwan Sahrom: Just like his older brother

THERE’S no denying that the Sahrom household from Kampung Parit Setongkat in Muar will have a lot to look forward to in the coming years, if 13-year-old Mohd Ridwan Sahrom lives up to his promise.

Mohd Ridwan emphatically signalled his arrival in the sport when he bagged a semi-final spot in the Under-16 200m sprint at the second round of the National Junior Circuit at the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome yesterday.

If the surname sounds familiar, Mohd Ridwan is the younger brother of Asian Games-bound national cyclist Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who at just 19, has already experienced a meteoric rise.

Picked from obscurity by Johor coach Mohd Firdaus Daud, who discovered a rogue Mohd Shah wreaking havoc on the streets of Muar on his fixed gear bike three years ago, the elder brother’s natural talent is now proven.

And Mohd Firdaus soon discovered that the younger Mohd Ridwan wasn’t short of potential either and swiftly dragged him away from athletics and hockey, to put him on his first bicycle just over a year ago.

“I was into athletics at school and trained for the 100m, 200m and also did the 1,500m. But my heart was with cycling, so when the chance came, I switched to cycling,” said Ridwan.

Also a school hockey player, watching elder brother Mohd Shah Firdaus achieve virtually instant success in cycling drove Ridwan towards the sport without further hesitation.

Just three years into his cycling career, 19-year-old Mohd Shah Firdaus has already been roped into the elite track squad under head coach John Beasley in Melbourne.

“Of course my brother is my inspiration and after he achieved success, I decided that would be the path I was going to take.”

The second leg of the National Junior Circuit was only his fourth competition, but in coming from behind to beat Perak’s 15-year old Mohd Harith Arief Kazman — the fastest qualifier — in the quarter-finals yesterday, he has achieved his best result yet.

Mohd Ridwan has been competing among riders mostly two years older than him.

“I’ve been racing in the sprint and scratch race, but I feel I can do better in the sprint. To make the semi-finals has really boosted my confidence. I am going to try and make it to the final tomorrow,” said Mohd Ridwan.

In the much anticipated Under-18 keirin, national junior Shariz Affendi Shahrin had a surprisingly easy task of taking the victory in the final, with only Johor’s Khairil Nizam Rasol providing a stiff challenge in the final sprint.

Kuala Lumpur’s Mohd Syazrin Shaari trailed a few bike-lengths behind the leading duo to take third spot.

*Taken from NST Online

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