PETALING JAYA: It may be three years down the road but the unforgettable memory of his historic win at the Track Cycling World Championships outing in Hong Kong is enough to inspire Azizulhasni Awang to land on top of the podium at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Azizul shared his thoughts of what that glorious moment in Hong Kong on April 13 back in 2017 meant to him on his Facebook page. It also went a long way to silence the critics and hopefully the saga will be an inspiration to everyone.
“After 10 years of hardships, silver and bronze twice at the world championships, on this very day I created history by becoming the world champion in my pet keirin event.
“It was the first world title for Malaysia and also the first world title in men’s keirin on the Asia continent.
“It was the biggest victory for me and I finished it beautifully with my wheelie trademark.
“I still remember when some people looked down on me for only getting bronze in the Rio Olympic in 2016 and stressing highly on the fact that I’m too old to compete at this level and should retire.
“But I have definitely proved them all wrong. Never underestimate yourself when you know your capabilities of doing something despite all the setbacks, ” said the 32-year-old, who is now restricted to doing light training in his Melbourne home because of Covid-19 pandemic.
“I still remember that only few days before the race, I was finishing my assignments in my hotel room as I still have not postponed my university studies.
“This is obviously one of the moments that I will never forget in my life. There are no shortcuts in success. Work hard, be patient, be consistent in the approach and never give up. I will always hold on to these adages in life.
“Hopefully this story of mine will be an inspiration to all of you. Believe in your dreams and never give up to achieve success, ” said Azizul, who has certainly proven beyond doubt that age is just a number to him.
Azizul already has collected seven world championship medals in his career so far.
He recently added two more bronze medals in individual keirin and sprint to his collection.
Azizul claimed his first medal – a silver in the sprint event – at the 2009 world meet in Poland and repeated the feat in keirin in Copenhagen the following year. He also won two more bronze medals in keirin in Paris (2015) and London (2016).
Azizul is set to make his fourth Olympic appearance in Tokyo next year – the first Malaysian cyclist to do so.
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