A Malaysian national team cyclist has insisted that she wants to race in next month’s Asian Championships despite being seriously injured at the weekend when a car whose driver apparently ignored police marshalling a junction ploughed into a race in which she was competing at the weekend.
Mariana Mohamad, aged 34, was one of four cyclists injured in the incident, which took place at 10.30am on Sunday at Putrajaya. She suffered a broken arm and ribs while another rider, Ahmad Azri Ahmad, was left with broken fingers. The other two riders, Masziyaton Mohd Radzi and Abdul Azizi Zahid, received treatment for cuts and bruises.
TV news footage reportedly showed the car, a Perodua Kancil, shoot past police marshals at a junction and into the mixed group of cyclists taking part in a selection race for the women’s and junior teams for the Asian Championships, due to be held in Malaysia from 8-18 February.
Mohamad was initially treated at the Putrajaya Hospital and was subsequently transferred to the Damansara Specialist Hospital to undergo surgery, which orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gan Eng Cheng said had been successful, reports The Star.
“The CT (computerised tomography) scan of her brain showed that it is normal. She is stable and will be okay,” he confirmed.
The cyclist herself said: “I just don’t understand why the driver sped through although there were police marshalling the junction.
However, she insisted that she was keen to get back on her bike, despite family pressure.
“This will not spell the end of my career yet,” she insisted, “although my husband would very much prefer me to do so.”
Abu Samah Abdul Wahab, the president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation, rejected accusations that the organisation had failed in its safety duties.
“I believe we took the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our riders. It is wrong to say we neglected their safety,” he maintained.
“We worked closely with the police and the department of civil defence for the simulation race.
“Maybe we should put barricades to close the roads if we were to do another simulation race next time.”
Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, visited Mohamad in hospital and promised a full investigation of the incident, adding that her bicycle – which The Star pointed out was worth more than the car involved – would be replaced.
Mohamad insists that she will be able to ride in the Asian Championships, apparently at odds with the opinion of both Dr Cheng and the Sport Minister, who had revealed the extent of her injuries at a press conference.
"No, I cannot be off the bike,” the mother-of-two told the New Straits Times. “As soon as I can, I'm going to get back on the bike and I'm going to ride in the Asian Championships.
"The individual time trial is on February 14 so there's time for me to recover. My legs are okay so I'm going to ride."
Mr Ahmad Shabery, however, insists that having spoken to doctors, she will be in no condition to compete and is unlikely to be back on her bike for nearly six months.
"We have asked Mariana to take her time and recover, because from what the doctors have told us, she needs three months for her injuries to recover and then up to two months of rehabilitation," he explained.
"She shouldn't rush herself back as that might only aggravate her injuries, bringing about a longer healing process," he added.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.