Cyclist Bucay pockets gold medal in ITT road race at ASEAN Para Games

KUALA LUMPUR — Arthus Bucay pocketed the gold medal in the men’s C5 Individual Time Trial (ITT) event of the 9th ASEAN Para Games cycling road competition on Wednesday in Dataran Putrajaya.

Bucay finished the 12.3 kilometer race in 17 minutes and 44.186 seconds to collect his third medal.

Last Monday, he took the silver in the 4,000-meter Individual Pursuit event and a day before that, he bagged the silver in the 1-kilometer ITT event — both track events were held at the National Velodrome in Nilai.

“Road race is my forte and I am confident of winning because I started training since January,” said the 36-year-old rider from Marikina.

“In preparation for the ASEAN Para Games, I spent three months training in Tanay and Jala-Jala towns in Rizal and Pagsanjan, Laguna. So I am 100 percent ready,” said Bucay, who injured his hip during a local tournament in 2004.

Malaysian Ahmad Tarmizi Zuhaire captured the silver medal with a time of 19:11.953 while Indonesian Saori Sufyan registered the third-best time of 19:38.150 to win the bronze medal.

The Philippines also won the bronze in the men’s ITT C4 event courtesy of Godfrey Taberna, who clocked 18 minutes and 47.586.

The gold medal went to Malaysian Mohd Najib Turano, who clocked 17:56.306 while Indonesian Muhammad Fadli Imammuddin got the silver medal with a time of 18:16.930.

Taberna, a native of Bagabag town in Nueva Vizcaya, was happy for contributing a medal to the cycling team.

“I am glad that despite the strong challenge from my opponents, I was able to win a medal,” said the 38-year-old Taberna, who was born with a flatfoot deformity.

National coach Norberto Oconer, who competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, was all praises for his riders.

“I am happy for them because all their sacrifices and preparation did not go to waste. Their determination was so great and they really want to bring honor to the country. It was a job well done,” beamed the 52-year-old Oconer, who also handles the training of the national cycling team which competed in the Southeast Asian Games two weeks ago.

Oconer has won a total of 15 medals in the SEA Games as an athlete. He started his coaching career in 2011 during the SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bucay became a member of the national para cycling team in 2012, the same year he won the gold medal in the ITT and road race events in the Asian Para Cycling Championships in 2012 (Malaysia) and 2013 (India).

He also was a bronze medalist in the ITT event in the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games.

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