Upward cycle


The man to chase: Mohd Fadhil Zonis on his way to winning the men’s keirin gold at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Hong Kong on May 15. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Mohd Fadhil Zonis may not be going to the Olympic Games but he has equalled cycling icon Azizulhasni Awang in the world ranking.

Fadhil is now ranked world No. 1 in the men’s elite 1km time trial event following his silver medal win in the event at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Hong Kong last week.

The 23-year-old Fadhil is ranked top in the latest world rankings with 1762.50 points.

His position also took into account his seventh position finish at the World Track Cycling Championships in Berlin in March last year where he was the best Asian cyclist.

In Berlin, Fadhil blazed the track in 1:00.305, smashing the previous national record of 1:01.658 held by Rizal Tisin since 2009.

German Felix Gross, who won the 1km time trial event in Hong Kong, is ranked second with 1400 points.

Fadhil is only the second Malaysian track cyclist to be ranked top in his pet event after Azizul.

Azizul, who is set to make a record fourth Olympics appearance in Tokyo in July, has occupied the top spot for keirin on a few occasions. He has now slipped to fifth with 1,240 points.

Fadhil also shot up to 11th in the keirin event with 890 points following his stunning win against a strong final field in Hong Kong.

Japan’s Yuta Wakimoto, the runner-up behind Fadhil, is now the top ranked keirin cyclist in the world with 2,085 points.

Cycling head coach John Beasley was pleased to see another Malaysian cyclist enjoying the fruits of his labour.

“I’ve always believed in the process. He has worked hard for a while now and it’s good to see his reward.

“This will encourage him to keep up with the good processes, ” said Beasley.

Fadhil could not join Beasley in Melbourne last year, as he was unable to get his visa before Australia closed its border but he had been following the latter’s training programme in Nilai.

“This will be a massive step forward with regard to his career, a huge confidence booster for him.

“It’s also a good reward for our sponsor Sime Darby Foundation as they had invested a lot into our programme over many years, ” added Beasley.

Fadhil’s next assignment is the Asian Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, in late September, where he will be out to do better than his silver in the 1km time trial at the last meet in South Korea two years ago.

WORLD RANKINGS

Men’s elite

Sprint: 1. Tomohiro Fukaya (Jpn) 1632.5,2. Yudai Nitta (Jpn) 1405,3. Yuta Wakimoto (Jpn) 1335,4. Azizulhasni Awang 1300,5. Nicholas Paul (Tto) 1217.5.

Selected: 20. Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Mas) 792.5,25. Mohd Fadhil Zonis (Mas) 756.

Keirin: 1. Yuta Wakimoto (Jpn) 2085,2. Jai Angsuthasawit (Tha) 1572.5,3. Yudai Nitta (Jpn) 1480,4. Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro (Col) 1290,5. Azizulhasni Awang (Mas) 1240.

Selected: 11. Mohd Fadhil Zonis (Mas) 890,51. Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Mas) 460.

1km time trial: 1. Mohd Fadhil Zonis (Mas) 1762.5,2. Felix Gross (Ger) 1400,3. Tomas Babek (Cze) 1275.

Women’s elite

500m time trial: 1. Miriam Vece (Ita) 1980,2. Helena Casas Roige (Spa) 1457.5,3. Jessica Salazar Valles (Mex) 1365,4. Lea Sophie Friedrich (Ger) 1350,5. Pauline Sophie Grabosch (Ger) 1102.5.

Selected: 11. Anis Amira Rosidi (Mas) 720.

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