Aiming for a 3-medal harvest


In a sport that prides itself on going downhill as fast as possible, mountain biker Tan Hong Chun is on an upward trajectory.

After claiming a silver in last year's Asian Continental Championships, he is now a strong contender for a podium placing at the SEA Games in Myanmar.

Singapore's six-member cycling squad are aiming for at least three medals in Naypyidaw, where there are seven golds on offer.

This will match their previous haul of one silver and two bronzes at the previous edition in Indonesia.

Said Tan, 34, who is making his third appearance at the Games: "Training has been good so far. Of course, as an athlete, we always feel that it can be better.

"I hope to give it my best shot and see what happens."

The bike-shop owner had left for Myanmar three weeks ahead of his event to acclimatise to the race conditions and team manager Samuel Yang said: "Everything looks good at the moment. There are challenges and hurdles but Hong Chun is determined to bring back something."

The rest of the team, including sole woman rider Dinah Chan, went for a 10-day centralised training camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand - whose weather and terrain are similar to the race venue's.

Yang added: "Preparations were good in Chiang Mai. The team are well-rested and well-prepared. Chances are high and we are hopeful."

Chan, 27, has recovered from a road accident in September which left her with abrasions, damaged teeth and swollen body parts.

But the 2011 SEA Games women's road-race bronze medallist is back in the saddle and ready to contribute to the team's haul.

Darren Low, 25, who won a silver in the men's 50km individual time trial in Indonesia, is also back in the squad.

He joins a four-man road racing team who are looking for the Republic's first team time-trial medal at the biennial competition.

Along with OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team's Low Ji Wen, Ho Jun Rong and Goh Choon Huat, the quartet are considered Singapore's strongest Games line-up in six years.

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