The body of a 56-year-old Singaporean was found yesterday, three days after he had gone missing in the last leg of a 160km cycling race in Ipoh.
Mr Abdul Samat Ismail was found at about 1.50pm by a volunteer search party near Kellie's Castle, a century-old ruined mansion some 13km from the finish line of the race in Gopeng, Perak.
According to the police, his body was found in a clump of bushes. It is suspected that he had fallen off his bicycle after fainting, Perak police chief Ahmad Tarmizi Shaari told The Straits Times.
The police have ruled out foul play, and are conducting an autopsy, he added.
Mr Samat's family was due to arrive in Ipoh at 5.30pm yesterday.
An appeal on organiser Perak Century Ride 2018's Facebook page on Monday said Mr Samat was last seen at 1.45pm at a water station 24km from the finish line.
Mr Samat had gone to Ipoh to take part in the race on Sunday with about 20 other Singaporean cyclists. He had stopped to rest at the water station after suffering leg cramps, said team leader Alvin Low, 45. Mr Samat's roommate, who was with him at the water station, continued on without him, said Mr Low.
STRIKING UP A FRIENDSHIP
He's like a father figure to me. He always comes over to play with my kids, and he supports my shop.
BICYCLE SHOP OWNER MOHAMED FADZLI HAYOF, on how he became friends with Mr Abdul Samat Ismail, a regular customer.
When Mr Samat still had not crossed the finish line at about 3pm, the team tried to call him but did not receive a response. They alerted the local police at about 3.30pm.
About 50 police officers were scouring the area on Tuesday night with the help of dogs, said his friend, bicycle shop owner Mohamed Fadzli Hayof, who added that race organisers had also put together their own search team of about 20 to 30 people.
His friends, who had appealed in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning for search party volunteers, had their worst fears confirmed with yesterday's development.
Mr Fadzli, 38, got to know the late Mr Samat over the past two years as the latter was a frequent patron of his shop.
Speaking to The Straits Times before the body was found, he said: "He's like a father figure to me. He always comes over to play with my kids, and he supports my shop."
On Tuesday, Mr Mahipal Singh, general manager of the Singapore Cycling Federation, said he had never heard of a cyclist going missing during a ride.
He advised cyclists to always travel in pairs, especially in another country and if the route is unfamiliar.