KUALA LUMPUR: Track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang (pic) has secured a timely boost in his bid to claim a second straight World Cup podium finish at the London leg starting tomorrow.
The 30-year-old bagged the Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM)’s men’s Olympian of the Year award after becoming the first Malaysian cyclist to win the sprint gold at the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
The 2017 keirin world champion also won team sprint silver and keirin bronze.
It is Azizulhasni’s second major award this year after picking up his third National Sportsman of the Year in March.
Azizulhasni received the medal and RM10,000 cheque from guest of honour Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail yesterday.
“I’ve won the national sportsman award a few times but the Olympian award is a first for me,” said Azizulhasni from London yesterday.
“I want to thank my coach John Beasley, my family, NSC (National Sports Council) and NSI (National Sports Institute) for their support when I was going through a rough patch. I was able to come back stronger because of them.
“This award will strengthen my resolve to bring home the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo (2020). Now, my focus is to win at the World Cup.”
Azizulhasni is in London eyeing to continue his medal winning run in the World Cup series. In Berlin’s third leg two weeks ago, he ended a seven-year World Cup podium drought by capturing the bronze in the keirin.
Rhythmic gymnast Amy Kwan Dict Weng was duly named as the women’s Olympian of the Year winner after winning gold in the ribbon apparatus at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
The 23-year-old also anchored Malaysia to team silver and swept bronze in the all-around and hoop.
“I’m lost for words. It’s such a big surprise when my name was announced,” said the sweet-faced Amy, also the double gold medallist at last year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
“Winning four medals would not have been possible without the undivided support from everyone ... my beloved family, coaches and not forgetting Petrina Low (Malaysian Gymnastics Federation vice-president) for all the guidance.”
The award has brought much needed cheer for Amy as she had just undergone a surgery on her left ankle.
“I just hope that my recovery will go smooth and I’ll be able to perform on the carpet again,” said Amy.
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