KUALA LUMPUR – The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games will be the best stage for national track cyclist, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (picture) to show his mettle to bring home a medal for Malaysia in the individual keirin and sprint events.
This is after national track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang announced his withdrawal from the games following an injury suffered last week.
Mohd Azizulhasni said he was optimistic that Muhammad Shah was ready to shoulder the responsibilities on the international stage, especially without his presence, to prove his true capabilities.
“This is the time for him to shine, he is a talented cyclist and has a high fighting spirit as everyone saw during the Asian Track Championship (in Nilai, last June).
“Shah is almost at the same level as me but there may still be some mental weaknesses he needs to work on. This is the time for him to learn and adapt to high-pressure situations,” he told a press conference on his injury status at the National Sports Council (NSC) here yesterday.
Muhammad Shah Firdaus had previously proved that he was capable of shouldering huge responsibilities without Mohd Azizulhasni when he successfully won bronze in the keirin event at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, Mohd Azizulhasni who is also the silver medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics expressed the same sentiment about Mohd Fadhil Mohd Zonis who he described as a cyclist with excellent physical strength.
“Fadhil is also a talented rider and he is the strongest (among the country’s track cyclists) in the gym. However, he has self-confidence issues and his confidence level is still not at its highest.
Yesterday national track cycling coach John Beasley announced that Mohd Fadhil would replace Mohd Azizulhasni for the individual keirin event, while Muhammad Ridhuan Saharom would replace him for the individual sprint event. – BERNAMA