PETALING JAYA: For their impressive showings in the just concluded Asian Cycling Championships, juniors Mohd Azizul Awang Hasni and Fatehah Mustafa will be based overseas in a bid to groom them to become world-class riders.
It was double joy for the 18-year-old Azizul, who won three individual gold medals in the junior category of the Asian meet.
He was given immediate promotion to the elite team and will join the other riders in Melbourne soon to train under Australian John Beasley.
The 17-year-old Fatehah, who won medals both in the track and road races, will join the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland after completing her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations in November.
The duo, from Terengganu, are based in the Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) under the guidance of Soad Hussin.
Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNFC) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohd said: “The achievements of the juniors were remarkable. Their performances gave us some guarantee for our future in cycling.
“To make sure that they will continue to improve, we have decided to send them for training overseas. They will get to take part in many competitions.
“We have decided to send Azizul and his sprint teammates (Mohd Syamil Baharum and Mohd Hariff Salleh) to Melbourne.”
Besides winning the three individual gold medals in the keirin, 1km individual time trial and sprint, Azizul and his teammates won a silver medal in the team sprint.
In the senior competition, the track riders showed they were on the right course for the Asian Games in Doha from Dec 1-15.
Asiad-bound Mohd Rizal Tisin stole the thunder when he bagged the keirin gold – a first for the country in 19 years. In the team sprint, the trios of Rizal, Mohd Hafiz Mohd Sufian and Junaidi Mohd Nasir rewrote the national record for the second time in two months.
Together with Josiah Ng, the team are expected to be one of the strong contenders for medals in the Asiad.
But the road riders failed to win any medals.
Overall, Malaysia won a medal haul of 4-5-3 in the Asian championships.
Junior: Mohd Azizul Awang Hasni (keirin, 1km individual time trial and sprint – gold); Mohd Azizul Awang Hasni, Mohd Syamil Baharum, Mohd Harrif Salleh (team sprint – silver); Mohd Hariff Salleh (24km point race – silver, 10km scratch –bronze).
Junior: Fatehah Mustafa (sprint-bronze, 500m individual time-trial – silver).