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 Sports

Natahsya does it again!

7th August, 2017

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: State’s sensational female mountain biker, Natahsya Soon won her second successive Women’s Elite Downhill title during Round Two of the Asia Mountain Bike Series Championship held in Tambunan, yesterday.

The petite lass from Kota Kinabalu representing Team Faith Wellness / Taokas defended her title won last year at Ranau after crossing the line with a time of 5 minutes and 42.01 seconds, nicking away the gold medal by 0.88 seconds.

Pahang Sports Council’s rider, Nia Vanessa Suhana Zaidi gave Natahsya a good fight but was forced to settle second best with a time of 5 minutes and 42.89 seconds followed by Nur Assyira Zainal Abidin of Polytechnic Sports Council in distant third place with a time of 7 minutes and 12.97 seconds.

When met after her race, Natahsya was ecstatic in retaining her title after she was given a run for her money by Nia Vanessa, who set the fastest time before Natahsya finished her run.

“It was a close race, I did not know about it until I crossed the finishing line and heard that I have set the fastest time, regardless Nia gave her all but at the same time, so do I.

“I am very happy to win another Asia Mountain Bike Series Championship title and hope to be able to do the same next year again,” she said.

Meanwhile, Natahsya’s teammate Eleazar Barba Jr of Taokas Racing Team blitzed his way around the 2.4 kilometres time trial to retain his Men’s Elite Downhill crown.

He was the only downhill rider to clock a sub four minutes run after crossing the finishing line in 3 minutes 58.54 seconds en route to winning the category by a comfortable margin of 8.89 seconds.

Kedah’s Muhammad Aim Muhammad Fauzi of SBS Giant Racing Team finished second in 4 minutes and 7.43 seconds followed by Norshahriel Haizat Ahmad Nazali of AGS Racing / Selangor in third place with a time of 4 minutes and 15.36 seconds.

Other winners in the Downhill event are Wendell Barba of Taokas Racing Team in the Men’s Masters A while the Men’s Masters B was championed by Jacobs Aryanto of TMB Nunukan.

SBS Giant Racing Team duo of Muaz Abdul Rahim and Muhamad Khairul Aniq finished first and second place respectively in the Men’s Open Cross Country Eliminator while their female teammate, Masziyaton Mohd Radzi won the Women’s Open title.

International riders took centre stage in the Cross Country Olympics event where Kirill Kazantsev of Kazakhstan fought back to win the Men’s Elite title from Japan’s Yu Takenouchi representing Toyo Frame while Keerati Sukprasart from Thailand settles for third.

Whereas Philippines’ Ariana Thea Patrice Dormitorio representing Team Ariana Specialized conquered the Women’s Elite category with Siti Aisyah Alias of Pahang Sports Council and Siriluck Warapiang of Thailand in a distant second and third place, respectively.

A total 184 riders from Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Timor Leste, Thailand, Australia, Peninsula Malaysia, Labuan, Sabah and Sarawak took part in the three-day event.

The series will continue its third round in Dili, Timor Leste on September 16 before heading to Yamaguchi City in Japan on October 7 before concluding with the final round in Kuching, Sarawak on November 4.

   
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