Azizulhasni Has Proven His Ability To Chase 2024 Paris Olympics Gold.

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Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang with his 12th ACC gold. Picture: Bernama
Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang with his 12th ACC gold. Picture: Bernama

After emerging Asian King of Keirin, National cycling ace, Azizulhasni Awang deserves to receive special attention in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

NILAI — National cycling champion Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang deems he deserves to receive special support in pursuit of the country’s elusive first Olympic gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

According to the 35-year-old rider, he has long proven his abilities by emerging as the keirin world champion in 2017, in addition to winning Olympic bronze in Rio 2016 and silver in Tokyo 2020 to be among the main contenders at the Paris Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 26 to August 8 next year.

“I’m a world champion, that’s enough to show everyone that I deserve the best treatment…To be in the Olympics and win a medal twice is not easy. Then I came back from open heart surgery and won two golds at the Asian level.

“We should be proud, happy of the people of Malaysia, even with my small size I can dominate at the world level, which also inspires up-and-coming athletes and young people.

“If people still ignore my abilities and capabilities, I don’t know what to say. If it’s true that I don’t deserve it, I understand, but the path to the Olympics is a little over a year away, this is my last Olympics, just give me good support,” he told reporters when met here.

Support System

More than a week ago, Azizulhasni, through his social media, he had expressed his disappointment with the National Sports Council (MSN) for failing to provide a complete support system, after moving his training base from Melbourne, Australia to the National Velodrome since the beginning of this year.

Elaborating, he said that he had a discussion with some (MSN) officials recently and did not blame the entire MSN, but only ‘a few black sheep’ who tarnished the image of the council.

At the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) at the National Velodrome here which is still ongoing, Mohd Azizulhasni once again proved his ability after winning two titles, in the sprint event on Wednesday and the keirin yesterday, thus creating his own legacy with 12 ACC gold medals overall.

Nicknamed ‘The Pocket Rocketman’, he said a year ago that he never imagined being able to dominate the Asian stage again at ACC 2023 and until now, he still feels as if he is in a dream.

At that time, according to him, he was only able to watch his teammates in action at the ACC 2022 in New Delhi, India because he was recovering from open heart surgery for a rare heart condition at Epworth Richmond Hospital, Melbourne on April 21, 2022.

Preparing For 2024 Paris Olympics

“At that time, I was at the very bottom of my life, not just career. I was still in the process of gaining strength, unable to pedal, only able to walk. But after looking back one year ago, now I am grateful to Allah SWT, I think all the strength comes from him, I just do what is necessary.

“This is my best ACC performance ever, maybe this is my last ACC and I won two gold, what else to ask? I just want to enjoy the moment,” he said.

He added that this edition may be his last appearance at the ACC, as he does not want to participate in the 2024 competition scheduled for next February in New Delhi to avoid risks ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

DPM Wants Azizulhasni To Bring Home Olympics Gold

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hopes Azizulhasni will continue to work hard to bag Malaysia’s first gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Zahid, who is also the Sports Development Cabinet Committee chairman, also congratulated the Pocket Rocketman for winning two gold medals at the ACC 2023.

“On behalf of all Malaysians, I am very happy with his achievement and that of other sports athletes who always work hard to bring glory to Malaysia on the international stage.

“Congratulations all! Malaysia is proud,” he posted on Facebook yesterday.

Zahid also congratulated national cyclist Muhammad Fadhil Mohd Zonis, who ended his seven-year wait for Asian glory after winning the 1-kilometre (km) individual time trial event today. — Bernama