AS expected, the national riders found the going tough in the men’s team time trial event at the Philippines Sea Games and failed to defend their gold medal in Tagaytay yesterday.
Malaysia - this time represented by Afiq Huznie Othman, Nik Mohd Azwan Zulkifle, Ameer Ahmad Kamal and Akmal Hakim Zakaria - settled for fifth after clocking two hours, 10 minutes and 1.859 seconds.
The quartet were some way off the winning time set by Thailand who clinched the gold on 1:59:39.792s.
Indonesia came in second on 1:59:43.926s while Philippines (2:01:38.099s) completed the podium.
The tough climbs in the courses used in the road cycling events this year have made it difficult for national riders, who are strong in the sprints, to make an impact.
The mass start road race, which this year offers team and individual gold up for grabs, will be held today.