KUALA LUMPUR: Is national track cyclist Mohd Fadhil Zonis (pic) ready to take over the mantle from icon Azizulhasni Awang?
“Only time will tell, ” said Fadhil.
The 24-year-old, who recently won the gold in the keirin and silver in the 1km time trial event at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Hong Kong, said he did not want to think of the matter too much, and instead would focus on improving his performance.
“Everyone has his own advantages and Azizul has been my idol as well. I am just focusing on the process to become a more mature rider, ” said the Sime Darby Foundation rider.
He said a message from Azizul telling him to give full commitment and stay focused prior to the race in Hong Kong had also inspired him to do well at the competition.
On Saturday, Fadhil rocked the Hong Kong Velodrome with a time of 10.298s to emerge as keirin champion, edging out two former Japanese World Championships silver medal winners Yuta Wakimoto and Yudai Nitta who took silver and bronze respectively.
A day earlier, the national and Asian record holder in the 1km time trial, won the silver medal in the event.
With the sensational run in Hong Kong, Fadhil now dreams of making his first appearance at the Olympics in Paris, France in 2024, after missing out on the Games in Tokyo which is scheduled to take place from July 23 to Aug 8.
Malaysia also contributed a bronze in the meet through Anis Amira Rosidi in the women’s 500m time trial last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Azizul in a post on Instagram, said he believed that Fadhil and Anis have the potential to go further, besides having the discipline, dedication and humility to carve out successful careers for themselves. — Bernama