KUALA LUMPUR – National track cycling champion, Mohd Azizulhasni Awang says there is no need for enmity between him and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom even though they were separated by only one spot in rankings.
In fact, Azizulhasni who is also known as ‘The Pocket Rocketman ‘ does not hide the possibility that the 22-year-old compatriot will one day take his place when he retires from the sport.
“Of course, Shah Firdaus is a good sparring partner and at the same time I will try to guide him, directly and indirectly, to get him into shape to take my place. I cannot be cycling forever.
“When some athletes see themselves being challenged, they begin to become enemies but I do not need to be like that. Like when Josiah Ng and I may be rivals in training and competition but we are buddies outside and we are still good friends now,” he said.
Based on the latest International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings, the world keirin champion in Hong Kong recently, has now jumped to fourth rank in the world from the 13th spot previously while Shah Firdaus fell one rank to the fifth place.
According to Azizulhasni, as teammates, they need to create a positive competitive environment to maintain consistency during training or competition.
He said he also wanted to see Shah Firdaus achieve excellent performance at every outing.
“I will try to guide him as much as I can. I hope one day, he can produce better results than me,” he said.
Shah Firdaus had earlier won the bronze medal in the keirin event at the Asian Cycling Championships (ACC) in India while Azizulhasni could only muster the ninth place in the same event.
However, in the world championships in Hong Kong last week, Shah Firdaus who competed in his first world championships failed to progress to the second round after taking the second place in the first repechage race behind German Joachim Eilers. – BERNAMA