SEA games 2015: Winner relegated in road cycling final-

SEA games 2015: Winner relegated in road cycling final-
Thailand's Jutatip Maneephan (left) is jubilant after finishing ahead of Vietnam's Nguyen Thi That. But the Vietnamese lodged a protest, complete with a video recording, and the Thai was penalised for obstructing That who was then awarded the gold medal. A devastated Jutatip was instead given the silver.

A mad dash to the end, a disputed finish, a golden dream extinguished by illness - the SEA Games women's road cycling final was definitely not short of drama.

Singapore's Dinah Chan, who suffered from food poisoning on Thursday and finished third in the defence of her 2013 individual time trial title, continued to feel the effects of her illness and finished seventh out of 15 competitors yesterday after the gruelling 94.9km event at Marina Bay South.

Chan declined to speak to the media after her race and Singapore cycling team manager Samuel Yang said: "She has already addressed the issue (food poisoning) and has worked through it.

"It did not happen to her alone."

Team-mate Serene Lee added: "In the third or fourth lap, Dinah told me she wasn't feeling up to it so I went for all the attacks and I was going to do the sprint."

At the 2013 edition in Myanmar, Chan was forced to pull out of the women's 100km/128km individual road race, also owing to food poisoning.

In a double blow for Singapore, Lee collided with three other cyclists as the peloton bore down towards the finish line. She suffered minor abrasions before pedalling to a 2:52:06 finish in 13th place.

And in the final turn of the race, Asian Games champion Jutatip Maneephan broke from the pack alongside Nguyen Thi That of Vietnam.

While the photo finish was in the Thai's favour, the Vietnam team lodged a protest, presenting a video recording of the final sprint to back up their case.

"After investigation, we have decided to relegate the Thai cyclist to the last place in her group. This is according to regulations as she failed to keep in line in the last sprint, affecting the Vietnam representative," said Walter Yue, a commissaire from the Asian Cycling Confederation.

That walked away with the gold while Jutatip, who broke down emotionally inside the team tent, had to settle for silver.

This article was first published on June 14, 2015.
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