Sorry finish for Salamat

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 21, 2017 03:31 PM
Sorry finish for Salamat
Pinay rider Marella Salamat fell short of a podium finish in women's criterium.

KUALA LUMPUR – Marella Salamat paid dearly for miscalculating the field as she fell short in the women’s criterium event of the cycling competition in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Monday at the Dataran Putrajaya here.

Salamat, a gold medalist in the women’s individual time trial in the previous SEA Games in Singapore, figured in a bunch finish with 10 other riders, but still managed to finish fourth.

Her official time in the 35-kilometer battle was one hour, two minutes and nine seconds, but Thi That Nguyen of Vietnam, Ju Pha Som Net of Malaysia and Jutatip Maneephan of Thailand were awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, for leading the Filipina by a hairline.

Salamat said her strategy was to closely guard the European-trained Maneephan, knowing that the reigning champion and two-time Olympic campaigner is a prolific sprinter who is capable of zooming to the finish line.

But her tactic didn’t work as a gutsy rider from Vietnam saw that as a golden opportunity to steal the thunder en route to the victory.

“The Thai rider is a very good sprinter,” Salamat said. “Unfortunately, my tactic of closely guarding her didn’t work as other riders saw it as an opportunity to attack. 

But it was still a good race. At least there was no breakaway.”

Also falling short was Jerry Aquino, who finished fourth in the men’s side.

Aquino registered 59:35.34 seconds to surrender to Mohd Harrif Saleh of Malaysia (59:34.77), Tanawut Sanikwhati of Thailand (59:34.79) and Mohd Zamri Saleh of Malaysia (59:34.88), who captured the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Salamat said it was still a good finish, a major improvement from her eight-place performance in the same event in 2015.

“I’m still satisfied with how I performed. Although breaks didn’t go my way, it was still a good race,” she said, vowing that she would bounce back in the women’s road race on Wednesday.

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