Salamat faces uphill ride
Marella Vania Salamat, the lone Filipino cycling gold medalist in the previous Southeast Asian Games, will be tackling an unfamiliar route in the coming Kuala Lumpur edition of the meet.
The women’s time trial winner during the 2015 Singapore Games missed the recent test event in the Malaysian capital.
“It was our chance to see the route,” said Salamat, who will compete in the women’s massed-start criterium after the time trial event was excluded from the Games calendar. “Now we have no choice but to be in top shape during the race and hope that luck will be on our side.”
Twenty gold medals are at stake in cycling—13 of them in the track, five in road race and two in BMX racing.
Salamat, a bronze medalist in the 2016 World University Cycling Championships, and teammates Avegail Rombaon and Irish Wong also missed a training camp in Germany.
Coach Cesar Lobramonte said the women’s team has set up camp in Olongapo to train in the Zambales area.
Lobramonte said Salamat should attack early in the flat and windy course in Putrajaya.
“She’s the time trial champion and the only way we can win in a massed-start race is for her to pull off a solo breakaway,” Lobramonte said.