SEA Games: Harrif races through pain barrier to win criterium gold

By Seng Foo 21 August 2017 2726
SEA Games: Harrif races through pain barrier to win criterium gold
Harrif Salleh defended his men's criterium gold medal won in Singapore two years ago after coming first at the 2017 SEA Games on Monday.

The 28-year-old completed nine laps around a five-kilometre circuit at Dataran Putrajaya in 59 minutes and 35 seconds, followed closely behind by Thanawut Sanikwathi of Thailand and elder brother Zamri.

To make his achievement more incredible, he injured his back in an accident before the Games and was advised not to risk aggravating the injury by participating today.

"At first, I was worried about my condition and the Malaysian National Cycling Federation were also not keen on letting me race," said Harrif after the race.

"However, I was determined to do my best and compete at home. It was painful, but I really wanted to win something for Malaysia.

"I am thankful to team-mates Adiq Husainie Othman, Anuar Manan, Shahrul Mat Amin, Nur Amirul Fakhruddin and Zamri Salleh who helped me a lot today."

In the women's event, Jupha Som Net took silver after failing to overtake Vietnam's Nguyen Thi That at the finish line.

"I did not have enough training and had only prepared for three months, which was still very rushed," said Jupha, who won bronze two years ago.

"Give me two years' time and I will win gold next time in road and track."

Catch Astro's comprehensive coverage of the 2017 SEA Games on Astro Go!

(Picture: KL2017 MASOC)

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Seng Foo