PETALING JAYA: Melbourne is now under nightly curfew as Covid-19 cases spread like wildfire, but Malaysian cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom can still continue with their daily track training.
The two have been given special exemption to train at the Joe Ciavola Velodrome as professional athletes, much to the relief of coach John Beasley.
Victoria was declared a disaster state two days ago and is locked down from 8pm to 5am for six weeks with soldiers monitoring the streets as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.
Beasley had feared for the worst when news of stricter containment measures came out but he was a relieved man yesterday.
“I would be telling a lie if I said I was not worried the past few days on what we were going to do if we could not get access to the track.
“I did make an alternative plan but luckily for us, we can continue training. It’s all good, ” said the Australian coach.
The cyclists train in the morning so they are not badly affected but they do need permission to travel from their base to the track. However, they are barred from entering the gym near the track.
“I just got the confirmation. Nothing at this stage has changed for us as we can still access the track because we are a professional team, so we are all good except all movements other than going to the training centre is shut down.”
Azizul and Shah Firdaus are bound for the Tokyo Olympics next year where they will compete in both individual sprint and keirin events.
Azizul also had a message for Malaysians after what has happened in Melbourne.
“We cannot take things for granted. Always wear a mask when you are outside. Malaysia has done well in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic but we must remind ourselves that the virus is still out there.
“There is no use regretting later, ” said Azizul, who will make a record fourth Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
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