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ARKIB : 01/11/2004

No reason to exclude track cycling in Manila Games - Darshan Singh

KUALA LUMPUR Oct 31 - There is no valid financial reason for organisers of the 2005 SEA Games in Manila to drop track cycling from its list of events, Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) president Datuk Seri G. Darshan Singh said Sunday.

He said the cost of organising the 12 track cycling events would be minimal compared to the total cost of the Games while there was a serviceable velodrome in the Philippines capital city.

Although the velodrome might not be perfect, it had been commendably used for the past SEA Games, the 1995 Asian Cycling Championship and the National Championship earlier this year, he said.

"I have not seen the velodrome lately, but if the National Championships can take place then I am sure we can go ahead with the SEA Games track competition.

"If necessary, there may be a need for a new track surface and there is still sufficient time to do some minor work to improve or upgrade the track," he said.

In a meeting earlier this month, he said Philippines Cycling Federation president Alberto Lina and secretary Mar Mendoza had also stated that the organisation was prepared to host track cycling aside from other cycling events.

Darshan, who is also International Cycling Union management committee member, said pulling track cycling from the Games would be a step backwards for the sport.

He said compared to other cycling disciplines like road, mountain biking and BMX events, track cycling handed out the most gold medals.

The 2005 SEA Games in Manila, from Nov 27 to Dec 5, will host 41 sports but lesser events in several of them.

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