Shah Firdaus and Fadhil’s bids for first Asian title on hold

PETALING JAYA: Track cyclists Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Mohd Fadhil Zonis will have to wait longer for the chance to win their first Asian championship title.

The Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) have called off the 2021 edition for track races scheduled in Kazakhstan next month because of the Covid-19 situation.

Also struck off the calendar are the BMX championships in Indonesia end of this month and the Asian mountain bike championships in Myanmar next month.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) vice-president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill, who also sits on the ACC executive committee, said it was not feasible to hold the continental meets.

“Most of the Asian countries require strict quarantine procedures between 10 to 21 days, so they were hesitant about participating as we had just finished the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.

“Cases in Myanmar and Indonesia are also high, so they were unable to get the approval.”

Malaysia were counting on Shah Firdaus and Fadhil to spearhead the challenge in the Asian meet in the absence of Azizulhasni Awang.

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Azizul has decided to spend time with his family in Melbourne, whom he has not seen for the last five months.

Azizul already has 10 Asian championship gold medals in his collection.

Shah Firdaus and Fadhil have won medals at the Asian meet previously but not the elusive gold.

Shah Firdaus has won three individual medals – silver in keirin and bronze in sprint in the 2019 edition in Jakarta; and a bronze in the 2017 edition in keirin.

Fadhil, who won the Track Nations Cup gold medal in 1km time trial in Hong Kong in May, was the silver medallist in the 2020 edition in South Korea.

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