SEA Games: Calvin Sims wins Singapore's first track cycling gold in 20 years

The 27-year-old stayed humble in victory and called it a team effort, but made a stunning comeback after entering the final phase in fifth place.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Calvin Sim on Monday (August 28) became Singapore's first Southeast Asian (SEA) Games track cycling champion in 20 years.

The 27-year-old - making his track debut after competing at the 2009 edition in road - amassed a score of 140 points to emerge atop a field of 11 competitors in the omnium event.

Heading into the fourth and final leg of the single-day endurance race, Sim was in fifth place while cycling powerhouse Malaysia had both its riders topping the table with Sofian Nabil Omar M. Bakri's 112 points and M. ZawawiAzman's 100.

But the Singaporean put in a mammoth effort over 100 laps around the National Velodrome to surge clear of Bakri, who finished second with 136 points while Indonesia's NandraEkoWahyudi was close behind with 135, according to reports from Channel NewsAsia.

He may have just won Singapore's first men's cycling SEA Games gold in 20 years, but to Calvin Sim, the gold medal was one that belonged to the whole team, as per the Strait Times.

Said Sim: "It feels awesome but it's not only my victory, it's a team victory and I couldn't have done it without them."

On his stunning comeback in the final event, Sim said: "Cycling is a team sport - the points gap wasn't too big after the elimination round and ChoonHuat and I knew we had to be aggressive by taking laps during the points race.

"Without ChoonHuat helping me, we couldn't have done this. If the roles were reversed, I would have been very happy for him too and I would have been prepared to sacrifice myself as well."

This victory last night ensured that the Republic continued to win at least one gold medal for the 12th day in a row. At the 2013 Games in Myanmar, Dinah Chan took gold in the women's individual time trial.

This is Singapore's second cycling medal at this year's SEA Games, following LuoYiwei's silver in the women's omnium on Sunday evening.

The last time Singapore won gold in a men's cycling event at the regional competition was 20 years ago, when Bernard Wong won the men's point race at the 1997 Jakarta Games, according to Today.

Singapore's last SEA Games cycling gold came via Dinah Chan (20km/30km individual time trial) at the 2013 Myanmar Games.