KUALA LUMPUR: Exciting times are ahead for Malaysian track cycling and no, it’s not just about Azizulhasni Awang, the double bronze medallist at the just-concluded Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin.
Amidst the excitement over Tokyo Olympic-bound Azizul, who became the first Asian cyclist to make the podium twice in the history of the world championships since 1895, track coach John Beasley was also pleased to see Mohd Fadhil Zonis (pic) stepping up to the plate.
Fadhil is now the Asian record holder in the 1km time trial and Beasley tips the 20-year-old to become a world champion in the near future.
Fadhil made it a memorable outing in Berlin after clocking 1:00.305, erasing the long-standing men’s 1km time trial national record of 1:01.658 held by Rizal Tisin since 2009.
It was at the world championships in Poland that Rizal set the record en route to a bronze medal in the event.
It was the first time a Malaysian cyclist had made the podium at the world meet.
“You never know. One day, Fadhil can be the world champion and that would be great, ” said Beasley.
“I hope it comes soon. But first, I hope he will make his mark at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, which are not far away, ” the Australian added.
The 1km time trial is not an Olympic event but has always been contested at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
Based on the world meet result, Fadhil is ranked a close second among the Commonwealth countries behind Canada’s Michael de Haitre (1:00.119).
And no one is happier to see the 11-year-old mark erased than the previous record holder himself.
Rizal, who is now coaching the Singapore national team, was pleased to finally see Fadhil break his record.
“He came close to doing it when he won silver at the Asian Cycling Championships in South Korea a few months back.
“I had expected him to break the record this time because he had already come close on a few occasions. He is better prepared physically and is also equipped with a new (more aerodynamic) bike this time, ” said Rizal.
“We have often kept in touch and I try my best to advise him on how to improve. He asked me a few times what he is doing wrong and why he can’t break the record but he has done it now.
“It is a proud moment and obviously I am very happy for him. He is still young and should improve further, ” said the former Olympian.
Fadhil trains in Melbourne under Beasley together with Azizulhasni Awang and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom, both of whom are Olympics-bound cyclists.
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