Afiq eyes Commonwealth Games glory after easy win

  • Cycling
  • Sunday, 18 Feb 2018

Easy day: Afiq Afify Rizan (left) and Khairul Adha Rasol in action during the men’s (B) sprint of the Asian Track Championships at the National Velodrome in Nilai yesterday. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

NILAI: Para track cyclist Afiq Afify Rizan may be visually impaired but he is clear about his future goals after winning the Asian gold.

Afiq and pilot Khairul Adha Rasol hardly broke sweat as they romped to the men’s (B) sprint victory in the Asian Track Championships at the National Velodrome in Nilai yesterday.

Afiq-Khairul defeated teammates Ahmad Bajuri Aiman Asyraff-Mohd Faizal Mohd Noh in two heats in the final.

Afiq said they were heading to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April in good form where they will be aiming to make history as the first Malaysian para cyclists medal winners there.

“Today was an easy win and it gives us a good indication of where we stand at the world level,” said Afiq.

“We set a personal best of 10.659 seconds in the sprint. Our good pace will be a boost for the Commonwealth Games where we are the only para cyclists who got the nod.

“But before the Commonwealth Games, we are also competing in the World Para Cycling Track Championships in Rio next month.

“We hope to finish on the podium again at the world championships,” said Afiq, who also partnered Khairul to bag a first-ever medal – bronze – at the world meet in Manchester last year.

The duo bagged two gold medals from the track events at the Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur last year (1km time trial and sprint).

There was also a double joy for Malaysia when KL Asean Para Games four-gold medallists Nur Azlia Syafinaz-Noraidillina Adilla also rode to a personal best to win the women’s (B) sprint gold medal for Malaysia.

Nur Azlia-Noraidillina defeated teammates Nur Syahida Tajudin-Nurul Suhada Zainal in two heats in the final.

“We clocked 12.305 in the sprint to improve on our personal best of 13.248 from the KL Asean Para Games,” said the 19-year-old Nur Azlia, who suffers from congenital blindness since birth.

“It’s a good start for us and we hope to win the 3km individual pursuit tomorrow (today).”

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