KUALA LUMPUR: Head coach John Beasley (pic) has ruled out bringing back former Asian champion Fatehah Mustapa to train in Melbourne for the upcoming Asian Cycling Championships in South Korea in October.
Fatehah upstaged her younger teammates Anis Amira Rosidi and Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan to sweep three gold medals – sprint, keirin and 500m time trial – at the National Track Championships in Nilai earlier this week.
The 30-year-old was also the silver medallist in the sprint event behind Indonesia’s Crismonita Dwi Putri at the South East Asia Track Championships last week.
Before Fatehah’s recent comeback, her form declined due to waning motivation and it led to her being left out of the Indonesia Asian Games last year.
She returned from Melbourne at the end of last year to be closer to her ailing father Mustapa Kassim and at the same time regain the form that saw her winning a silver in keirin at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Fatehah is also the only Malaysian woman cyclist to compete at the Olympics – in 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro).
However, Australian Beasley said it would be better for Fatehah to carry on training at the National Velodrome in Nilai under local coaches Edrus Yunos and Harmizam Basri.
“Four weeks in Melbourne is not going to do her any good. She is in no way ready to take on China or South Korean cyclists. We will see where she stands at the Asian championships but I hope to see her commit long term to her career.
“Honestly, there is no way she can make it to the Olympics now but I would like her to focus on the next Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“Our main focus now is to continue to develop Anis and the younger group we got under Edrus.
“If Fatehah keeps working hard, she can still have a few good years left. She has everything she needs here... good coaches, training programmes and environment.
“The door is always open for Fatehah. I’ve seen a little bit and she is making great progress but I want to see more, ” said Beasley, who has entered Fatehah and the back-up cyclists to compete in the India Track Cup in New Delhi next month.
The meet in South Korea in October will be considered as the 2020 edition of the Asian meet and will be the continent’s qualification event for the Tokyo Olympics.
Azizulhasni Awang, Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Mohd Fadhil Zonis have set their sights on doing well in South Korea to secure qualification for next year’s Olympics in Japan.
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