PUTRAJAYA – Defending the world keirin title at the UCI 2018 World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands at the end of the month is a key target for national track cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang this year, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said although Mohd Azizulhasni only won a silver and a bronze medal in the sprint and keirin events at the recent Asian Track Cycling (ATC) Tournament held at the National Velodrome in Nilai, the championship was not the main target for the athlete nicknamed the ‘The Pocket Rocketman’.
Khairy said defending the world keirin title was not easy as it not only involved speed, but also strategy.
“I believe he is currently in the best physical condition, and now it is just a matter of reading the race and making the final sprint at the strategic time,” he told the media after launching the ‘Let’s transact without cash’ initiative at the ministry here, today.
Commenting on national female cyclist Fatehah Mustapa’s failure to get a podium finish at the 2018 ATC, Khairy said he had informed coach John Beasley to focus more on the athlete’s performance.
“She (Fatehah), to me, was a bit disappointing, as I think she knows as well, the performance shown was not as expected,” he said.
Meanwhile, he praised rider Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom over the improvement in his form as he managed to enter the final stage of the tournament.
“I hope he will be able to match the likes of Mohd Azizulhasni, because we need to constantly develop the future generation for this sport,” he said.
Malaysia won two gold, three silver and four bronze medals at the 2018 ATC tournament. – BERNAMA