PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri has earned a big break following her stunning performance at the just concluded Asian Championships in New Delhi, India.
The 19-year-old can look forward to her first multi-Games competition as head coach John Beasley has named her as one of the three women track cyclists for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next month.
Anis Amira Rosidi and Nurul Aliana Syafika Azizan will take up the two remaining quota spots for women.
Tokyo Olympian Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom will lead the men’s challenge together with younger brother Ridwan and Fadhil Zonis.
Nurul, who just joined the national back-up squad at the start of the year, made history as the first Malaysian gold medallist in the women’s elite 500m time trial event at the Asian meet on Monday.
Kedah-born Nurul’s presence means Malaysia can enter the team sprint in the Commonwealth Games apart from the individual events (500m time trial, sprint, keirin).
Nurul raised eyebrows in the national meet in Nilai last month when she beat the more experienced Anis to take gold in the sprint.
“She is a special talent and she has a bright future ahead. We need to give her time to develop and learn the craft of racing,” said Beasley.
“I believe she will become world class with proper guidance and patience.
“I am excited to see someone of her talent and personality in our programme.
“My hope is to see that we have a competitive women’s team (alongside elite rider Anis).
“The Commonwealth Games will be a good exposure and we can see where they stand with the world’s best,” said Beasley, who also complimented the development work done by Nurul’s coach (Noor Alfizar Othman) back in Kedah.
“We need more women coaches like her out there in the field. Developing Nurul to this level without having a velodrome is something special.”