PETALING JAYA: Behind every great athlete is a great coach. Track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang has posted a heartfelt tribute to his coach John Beasley and also the team supporting him in his silver medal-winning effort at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Thanks to my coach John Beasley and his wife Vicky Beasley.
“They played important roles behind my successes all this while. He was born an Australian and is white but he is a Malaysian at heart.
“Those outside will not be aware of his sacrifices for me and for Malaysian cycling.
“I remember when I was still starting my cycling career, Beasley would pass me his ‘flight meal’ while we were on the plane. He told me he was not hungry and I believed him, but the real reason was he wanted me to increase my body weight and eat well as I am small sized.
“Beasley is a coach who is respected and sought after by other countries but he has stayed faithful to Malaysia. He is not just a coach to me but more than that,” said Azizul in his Facebook page.
Azizul has been under Beasley since he was sent for a long-term attachment in Melbourne back in 2007.
Under Beasley, Azizul claimed seven world championship medals, 10 Asian championship titles and is now a double Olympic medallist.
In fact, Beasley was also responsible for the track cyclists becoming regular medal contributors at the SEA Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games over the last decade.
Azizul also complimented his support staff from the National Sports Institute.
“They have been through thick and thin with me. Izham Mohd as the team manager/coordinator who takes care of many things to allow me to focus on training and competitions.
“Harnimzam Basri as the assistant coach who helped me a lot, the physio Mollynica Juanis who made sure I am always in good condition and avoid injuries.
“Chee Lee Ming, the sports science physiologist who takes care of the sports science areas to help me improve.
“Thanks also to my teammates Mohd Shah Firdaus, Fadhil Zonis and Anis Rosidi. We always push each other in training and help each other to improve.
“There is a saying that ‘iron sharpens iron.’ To be good, we have to be surrounded by good people who fight each other in a positive way.
“I am so against the mentality of ‘I am the best in the world.’ It is my hope that Shah Firdaus, Fadhil and Anis will join me at the Paris Olympics in three years time,” said the 33-year-old.