STRIKING GOLD: Malek and Ummi Hamimah live up to favourite tag
BOTH national junior cyclists, headed for the UCI Juniors Track World Championships in New Zealand next month, lived up to their favourite tag when Selangor's Malek Marcus McRone took his first ever Malaysia Games gold medal in the 1km time trial, right after Terengganu's Ummi Hamimah Mohamad bagged the 500m time trial title for her second gold medal.
Malek, 18, clocked one minute 10.110 seconds to beat surprise silver medallist Mohd Harif Murlis of Terengganu while Hamdan Hamidun of Selangor bagged the bronze.
Malek, who had spent three months training with the national elite squad in Melbourne, said the victory was something he had imagined that would happen.
"I had been training for the 1km time trial and I've put a lot of focus on it in training, so it was my favourite event coming into the Games," said Malek.
For Ummi Hamimah, winner of the women's 200m sprint on Sunday, it was another victory she could draw inspiration from after dipping below 40 seconds for the first time, clocking 39.642s to bag the gold ahead of Selangor's Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan and Jupha Somnet of Perlis.
"I'm pretty happy with the victory, more so because I've dipped below 40 seconds, so it shows that I'm getting faster and improving with every competition," said Ummi Hamimah, who heads to the Juniors World Championships along with Malek and Mohd Firdaus Suardi.
Though not favoured to bag a medal in the world meet in Invercargill, New Zealand on Aug 22-26, Dungun-born Ummi Hamimah needs to clock at least a 12.7s flying 200m time in qualifying for the event. Her personal best entering the event is 13.1s.
"It is quite a big ask, but I know I have improved in many areas since I've been based in Melbourne.
"I've really started taking care of my diet and I've been doing gym work like never before. There's still a long way to go, so I want to take the first step by meeting my target," said Ummi Hamimah.
Results --Men's 1km time trial: 1 Malek Marcus McRone (Sel) 1:10.929s, 2 Mohd Harif Murlis (Ter) 1:11.110s, 3 Hamdan Hamidun (Sel) 1:11.368s;
Women's 500m time trial: 1 Ummi Hamimah Mohamad (Ter) 39.642s, 2 Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan (Sel) 40.309s, 3 Jupha Somnet (Per) 40.407s.