Malaysia aims high for young trackie

Despite its highly-regarded hosting of the Tour de Langkawi, Malaysia doesn't exactly figure as one of the world's top cycling nations. But the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) is working to improve its world standing and one of the riders it's hoping for big things from is young track racer Uracca Leow.

According to a report on the website of Malaysian newspaper The Star, the MNCF hopes to get Leow a scholarship to the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. The 18-year-old has tremendous potential, MNCF deputy president, Datuk Naim Mohamad told the paper, and a stint at the WCC could be just what she needs.

"We are looking at her to become a top track rider. For her age, she is now doing very well," Naim said. "We will try to get her into the WCC to train towards the Commonwealth Games. Although she is getting good mileage in training at home, she needs stronger exposure to push her performance to a higher level."

Leow's compatriot, sprinter Josiah Ng is a graduate of the WCC program, and has gone on to make the podium five times in World Cup events.

Naim said that the federation also plans for Leow to ride more rounds of the World Cup, after her sixth place in the pursuit in Sydney in February, which was enough to qualify her for the world's.

Leow finished last of seventeen riders in the individual pursuit in Los Angeles, but rode a personal best of 4.10.476.

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