PETALING JAYA: Cyclist Fatehah Mustapa has a chance to cap her best season yet in the Track World Cup with a first-ever medal in the final leg in Guadalajara this weekend.
Fatehah, who is based in Melbourne, arrived in the Mexican city after a long journey and is taking the opportunity to settle down early.
Guadalajara is the final stop of the 2013-2014 series and the 25-year-old has already outshone her better known male counterparts in the earlier legs.
She reached the final in the keirin event in Manchester and Aguascalientes (Mexico).
Making two consecutive finals has seen Fatehah rise to No. 5 in the world rankings for women’s keirin, but she is hopeful of achieving more.
“I got down to light training and am just waiting for my events to start,” said Fatehah.
“I came close to getting a medal (she finished fourth) in Mexico last month ... so, I hope my form stays the same as I want to continue from where I left off.
“I came through tough heats to qualify for the final in both legs and I want to push hard to do it again.
“Everyone is serious in the Track World Cup as it will decide whether you get to go for the Track World Championships and Olympics now.
“I should have enough points to qualify for the world meet (in Cali) next month but I’m not taking anything for granted,” added Fatehah, who was the first Malaysian woman cyclist to compete at the London Olympics in 2012.
Fatehah, who hails from Terengganu, will only focus on the keirin and sprint in Guadalajara.
Meanwhile Azizulhasni Awang, who made the keirin final in the second leg in Aguascalientes, has his work cut out in his pet event.
Azizul is ranked 23rd in the world for keirin and needs to put up a good showing to confirm his place in the world meet.
It should not be a big problem for two-time Track World Championships silver medallist Azizul to qualify but a medal is what he will be after.
His team-mate, Josiah Ng, will not be competing in Guadalajara as he is still recovering from last month’s horrible crash. He suffered broken ribs and a collarbone and punctured his lungs after a crash in the keirin event at the Track World Cup round in Aguascalientes.
The third Malaysian rider in the fray is Jupha Somnet, who will compete in the women’s scratch and individual pursuit.