14th July, Negeri Sembilan – Arni Sanuddin became Sabah’s first keirin national champion today at Track National Championships 2018. The win was a shock to everyone at the National Championship as Terengganu and Selangor were hot favorites while Arni was unknown and hailed from a state without any track cycling facilities.
In the women’s junior keirin final, she beat 5 other riders who are already in the national team to win, some of whom have represented Malaysia in international races. Also, Arni clinched a Bronze Medal in Women Junior 500km time trial. This was Arni’s first national championship and second track cycling race.
“Sabah arrived at the National Track Championships only aiming to achieve our personal best. We come from a state without any track facilities,” said Arni’s cycling coach, Louis Pang.
Louis started his career as a cycling coach back in late 2017. In 2018, he was employed by Majlis Sukan Negeri (MSN) Sabah as a road and track cycling coach. Louis revealed to us that his goal is to win Sabah a SUKMA medal in the year 2020.
Keirin queens: Fatehah Mustapa and Arni Sanuddin both crowned National Champion in women elite and women junior respectively.
About Arni Sanuddin
Arni left her home in Keningau to train in Kota Kinabalu. After buying her first road bike in February, she convinced her family to let her pursue cycling. Having to wake up at 4am to train at 5am, she endures cold buckets that Sabahan cannot do well in track cycling. Arni epitomizes grit, hard work, and sacrifice.
Track National Championships 2018 was held on the 14th and 15 July at Velodrome National Nilai.