PETALING JAYA: Mohd Fadhil Zonis is determined to step up in the absence of Azizulhasni Awang and aim for a cracking ride at the World Track Cycling Championships in Roubaix, France, next month.
The 23-year-old together with Tokyo Olympics track cyclist Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom are Malaysia’s representatives in the world meet.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Azizul is not competing in the world meet for the first time in nearly a decade as he is currently back in his Melbourne base to be with his wife, who is expecting their third child.
The chances are there for Fadhil to seize the limelight and foremost on his mind is to improve on his national mark in the men’s 1km time trial.
It was at the 2020 world meet in Berlin where Fadhil blazed the track to a seventh place in 1:00.305, smashing the previous national record of 1:01.658 held by Rizal Tisin since 2009.
Rizal clocked the time in 2009 in Poland in third place to become the first Malaysian cyclist to make the podium at the world championships.
Fadhil qualified for the world meet by virtue of his silver medal rides at the 2020 Asian Cycling Championships in South Korea and also in the Track Cycling Nations Cup in Hong Kong in May.
“The two meets gave enough ranking points for me to get a quota slot although there were not many competitions we could go to because of the Covid-19 situation,” said Fadhil.
“The world track meet is usually very fast and I will try for a personal best time.
“If I can dip under one minute, the chances of winning a medal are there.
“My coach John Beasley is also optimistic about me going for a personal record if I execute my ride well. Things are going well at the moment,” said Fadhil, whose national record is also the Asian record mark.
Fadhil will also be Asia’s main hope as he is the fourth best ranked cyclist in the world in the men’s 1km time trial.