SINGAPORE - The Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) announced on Monday (Aug 20) that it has appointed former Malaysian cyclist Rizal Tisin as its national coach for track and road.
The 34-year-old, along with Azizulhasni Awang and Josiah Ng, finished seventh in the team sprint event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rizal also has been coaching for the past four years and has trained cyclists such Jupha Somnet and Nurul Shuhada, who both won medals at the 2015 SEA Games.
SCF general manager Mahipal Singh called Rizal’s hiring a “breakthrough” for the federation, which has targeted podium finishes at the 2022 Asian Games.
“We’re happy to have Rizal on-board as he has the technical expertise as a rider and coach that we lacked before,” said Singh.
“Rizal will be able to help us put in some of the processes we need to develop our athlete pathways.”
The profile of competitive cycling here has been boosted by strong performances in 2017.
Track cyclist Calvin Sim won the Republic’s first men’s cycling gold in 20 years at last year’s SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, with Luo Yiwei picking up Singapore’s first ever women’s medal with a silver in the omnium event.
Their performances then caught the eye of Rizal, a four-time Asian champion in the keirin, team sprint and 1km time trial events.
“I can see a lot of potential in the Singaporean cyclists. They managed to achieve the (SEA Games) results as a small contingent even though there is no velodrome here,” said Rizal, who has been on the job for a week.
“I’ve seen some good numbers from the younger cyclists like Curtis (Tan) as well. What the cyclists need is more races, to get more experience.”
The SCF is still searching for a suitable candidate to take up the role of technical director.
“Rizal’s role is more hands-on with the cyclists and we still want to get someone who overlooks all the cycling disciplines and prioritise what needs to be done,” said general manager Mahipal.