Sim seeks amends for 2015 crash

Above: Army regular Toh Kok Chai, 51, signs up for the ST Run's 18.45 km event at the ST Run booth at the OCBC Cycle Weekend Market. From far left: Malaysia team captain Anuar Manan and Singapore team captain Goh Choon Huat at the OCBC Cycle Speedway
Malaysia team captain Anuar Manan and Singapore team captain Goh Choon Huat at the OCBC Cycle Speedway South-east Asia and Club Championship draw and media conference. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Above: Army regular Toh Kok Chai, 51, signs up for the ST Run's 18.45 km event at the ST Run booth at the OCBC Cycle Weekend Market. From far left: Malaysia team captain Anuar Manan and Singapore team captain Goh Choon Huat at the OCBC Cycle Speedway
Army regular Toh Kok Chai, 51, signs up for the ST Run's 18.45 km event at the ST Run booth at the OCBC Cycle Weekend Market. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Above: Army regular Toh Kok Chai, 51, signs up for the ST Run's 18.45 km event at the ST Run booth at the OCBC Cycle Weekend Market. From far left: Malaysia team captain Anuar Manan and Singapore team captain Goh Choon Huat at the OCBC Cycle Speedway
National cyclist Calvin Sim emphasised that teamwork is paramount for the Speedway Club Championship, in which each four-rider team are split into pairs, who each cover five laps.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SEA Games champ wants gold in Speedway race but team face stiff fight from Asean rivals

In 2015, Calvin Sim crashed out of the qualifying round of the OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship with his team, T3 Team Turtle Racing.

Three years later, with a SEA Games gold under his belt and more experience, the national cyclist is gunning for gold at today's Speedway South-east Asia Championship. He will anchor the Singapore team comprising Gabriel Tan, Luqmanul Hakim, Goh Choon Huat and SEA Games bronze medallist Mohamed Elyas.

The Republic, who finished fourth last year, face Myanmar, Laos and runners-up Malaysia while defending champions the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand and Cambodia are in the other group after yesterday's draw ceremony at Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway.

Each four-rider team are split into pairs and each pair cover five laps on a flat 1km stretch along Stadium Drive.

Sim stressed that teamwork is paramount for this format.

"This is very different from the individual races (that I do), here you're just as strong as the weakest link," said the 28-year-old, who won the men's omnium at last year's Kuala Lumpur Games.

"If one person lags behind, the next rider has to play catch-up which is honestly very tough."

To illustrate his point, Sim added: "Elyas, he can sprint, he doesn't need to launch an attack and try to break away from the group early in the race. But, for me, I can't outsprint them at the end so I know I cannot wait till the last moment."

Captain Goh, who rides professionally with Terengganu Cycling, said the Malaysian team comprised "really good sprinters" and will be favourites.

He added: "Our team have only two sprinters while they have four, so we'll try to do something, maybe break away from them earlier so we don't have to try to outsprint them (nearing) the end."

Do not discount the Thais either, said Sim. "They have a lot of seasoned riders who have been training together for a long time so their teamwork is definitely there."

Malaysia, champions in 2016, are fielding new faces. Four of their five riders have never competed in this event but captain Anuar Manan remained confident.

He said: "We've been having really good training to prepare for it. There should be no problem winning today."

In the club category, 15 local teams will be vying for the title in the absence of defending champions TWC Racing.

The 42km Sportive Ride and 23km The Straits Times Ride, which will see participants cycle past iconic landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer, will be held tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'Sim seeks amends for 2015 crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe