On the right track to Olympic gold


By CY LEE

(Seated, from right) Tunku Imran, Yeoh, national track cycling squad head coach John Beasley, Musa and Fernandes with 2024 Paris Olympic track cyclists as well as family, friends and sponsorship partners. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

THREE national track cyclists set to compete in the Paris Olympics 2024 in July were given a morale boost ahead of the games.

The trio, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri, were hosted by former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam and his wife Toh Puan Zulaikha Sheardin to a tea reception at their Kuala Lumpur residence.

Musa, who was former Sime Darby Foundation (YSD) chairman, was joined by current chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar as well as Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

Musa (fourth left) Zulaikha (centre) with (from left) Nurul Izzah Izzati, Mohd Azizulhasni and Muhammad Shah Firdaus at the reception.Musa (fourth left) Zulaikha (centre) with (from left) Nurul Izzah Izzati, Mohd Azizulhasni and Muhammad Shah Firdaus at the reception.

Also present were Capital A Bhd (formerly known as AirAsia Group Bhd) CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and representatives from CIMB Bank.

Yeoh emphasised the government’s commitment to supporting athletes through the Road to Gold (RTG) project and highlighted the collaboration between the government and private sector sponsors like YSD, AirAsia and CIMB in developing Malaysia’s track cycling ecosystem.

“Through the RTG project, we made a commitment to ensure our athletes received the best support possible.

“This collaboration with the private sector is crucial in our efforts to develop a robust track cycling ecosystem,” said Yeoh.

She noted that it was because of the years of support from YSD and CIMB that track cycling was developed to be a prospective gold medal sport for the country.

“After all their preparations, we wish them success and hope that everything will go well for them,” she added.

Azizulhasni said the gathering was meaningful as the Olympics drew closer.

“We have had the best funding and equipment, which is very important for this sport, and on top of that all the moral support too.

“It is because of this that I am still fighting for the country and chasing my dream.

“I can’t wait to perform at the Olympics.

“There is a bit of nervousness and excitement to give my best to the country and team,” said Azizulhasni.

“I hope that with the support from all Malaysians, either Shah or me will be able to deliver the first-ever gold medal for the country,” he added.

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