After more than a decade of chalking several firsts for Malaysia in women’s track cycling, the two-time Olympian announced her retirement from the sport yesterday.
A third Olympic appearance in Tokyo was beyond her reach as age was catching up on the 31-year-old Terengganu-born rider.
But she can hold her head high, knowing that she, like Azizulhasni Awang, helped put Malaysia on the international cycling map.
Fatehah is still the only Malaysian female cyclist to win gold at the Asian Cycling Championships – not once but twice (Kuala Lumpur in 2012 and New Delhi in 2013).
She is also the only Malaysian woman cyclist to win a UCI Track World Cup medal when she rode to a silver in the keirin at the Mexico round in 2014.
That same year she created history by winning a silver in the keirin at the Incheon Asian Games.
It is still the only medal won by a female Malaysian rider at the Asiad.The last time she made the podium was at the Asian meet in Jincheon, South Korea last October where she bagged two bronzes – in 500m time trial and the team sprint with Anis Amira Rosidi.
Fatehah, who submitted her resignation letter to the National Sports Council earlier this week, expressed her gratitude to those who had supported her throughout her career.
“Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to all Malaysian for your endless support throughout my 17 years in the sport.
“A big thank you also to the National Sports Council, National Sports Institute, Malaysian National Cycling Federation, Bandar Penawar Sports School and my past and current sponsors Sime Darby, CIMB, AirAsia, Tumi, Nike, Oakley for the opportunities that were given to me to achieve my goals and make my dreams come true.
“I’m so proud to be part of the Malaysian team at the Olympic Games twice (London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016).
“Among one of the highlights of my career was carrying the national flag at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014,” added Fatehah.
Fatehah, who is also the only Malaysian woman to ride in a Track Cycling World Championships keirin final in Holland in 2011, also paid tribute to coach John Beasley whom she sees as a father figure.
“To the one and only person who has raised me for the past 11 years. He’s not just a coach but a father that has always been there for his daughter through good and hard times. Thank you so much for all your sacrifices.
“A million thanks to my family who never stopped believing in me and also my teammates in Melbourne.
“I’m so lucky to have such a lovely family,” said Fatehah, who also made a historic four-gold sweep at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
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