by BERNAMA / pic by AFP
KUALA LUMPUR – Three-time Olympics silver medallist Datuk Lee Chong Wei (picture; above) believes that Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (picture; below) is on track in his pursuit of Olympics glory but he should not be placed under unnecessary pressure.
He said the national elite cyclist’s recent form suggests that he is a gold medal prospect in the Tokyo Olympics.
However, Chong Wei said that having come so close to winning Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold himself, he knew that the Olympic mission had its own set of challenges.
“I know what Azizul wants in Tokyo (gold medal). I believe he is quite confident after having a successful tournament in Australia recently.
“As an ex-athlete, I fully understand what he is feeling now. Having said that, I won’t give pressure to Azizul, and I pray that he will do his best in Tokyo,” Chong Wei told Bernama recently.
Azizulhasni won two silver medals, in men’s sprint and keirin, at the Australian National Track Cycling Championships last weekend.
The 33-year-old former world champion edged another national track cyclist Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom to win the men’s sprint event at the Victoria Elite Track Championships last February.
Azizulhasni, known as The Pocket Rocketman, has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in his favourite keirin event and the individual sprint event.
Chong Wei, who will be Malaysia’s chef de mission for the games, said this year’s Olympics would be extraordinary due to the fact that it would be organised in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These are trying times for everyone and I hope all athletes are okay … I wish COVID-19 will be gone quickly and pray that everything will be back to normal again,” he added.
The badminton legend said he was pleased to see that preparations for the world’s biggest sporting event were going well.
He hoped that the athletes would not get injured in the run-up to the games, which will run from July 23 to Aug 8.