Azizul withdraws from Asian Games

Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang is assisted after falling before competing in a heat of the men's track cycling sprint 1/8 finals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on August 5, 2021. (Photo by Greg Baker / AFP).

PETALING JAYA: There will be no Asian Games swansong campaign for track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang as he has made the painful decision to withdraw on medical advice.

The Tokyo Olympic silver medallist cyclist, who was involved in a high speed training incident at the National Velodrome in Nilai last Friday after a tyre puncture, announced his withdrawal from the Hangzhou Asian Games contingent on Wednesday.

Azizul, The Pocket Rocketman, said the decision was made after he suffered abrasions and soft tissue damage to his left leg, hip, and elbow.

The injuries thus rendered the 35-year-old unable to make a strong push in training with just days before the track cycling competition starts on Sept 26.

"It is sad to inform that I have decided to withdraw from the Asian Games. I apologize to the national contingent and all Malaysians who hoped that I would be performing there in Hangzhou.

"At first my injury was not serious after I went for a scan at the National Sports Institute (ISN) as there was no fracture or anything. But after four days, I still felt pain in my body.

"So, after discussing with head coach John Beasley and the medical experts, I've decided to withdraw from the Asian Games this time to focus on the Paris Olympics next year," said the 35-year-old, who has won two career Asian Games gold medals in track cycling.

Azizul was slated to compete in individual sprint and keirin.

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