HANGZHOU – National track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (picture) must continue to be given full backing despite pulling out from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games following injuries sustained in a training accident on Friday.
Malaysian contingent Chef de Mission Datuk Chong Kim Fatt said Mohd Azizulhasni, or ‘The Pocket Rocketman’, the moniker he is popularly known by, must be given the chance to rise again as he is a national hero that has brought much glory to the country.
Kim Fatt, who is also a Malaysian Olympic Council (MOM) vice-president, said the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games silver medalist’s decision was a difficult one as he had personally promised to deliver two gold medals for the nation in Hangzhou.
“To me, he (Mohd Azizulhasni) is a very good and patriotic athlete… We pray that he has a speedy recovery and will be able to continue cycling until the Paris Olympics next year.
“What has happened in this Asiad is not important, what matters is his safety and health,” Kim Fatt, expressing optimism that the 35-year-old cyclist will be back to his best ahead of Paris, said when met here today.
Yesterday, the cyclist announced his withdrawal from the Sept 23-Oct 8 Hangzhou Asiad after discussing it with his coach John Beasley and teammates, saying it was the best thing to do to avoid aggravating his injuries.
Meanwhile, Kim Fatt is confident that the national contingent will still be able to meet the target of 27 medals even without Mohd Azizulhasni in the picture.
“Based on our calculation before this, yes, we are affected as we had pinned our hopes on him as well… but after gauging the situation, we still believe we can meet our target based on supporting data,” the Wushu Federation of Malaysia (WFM) president said.
In the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang edition, Mohd Azizulhasni delivered a gold in the individual sprint event, a silver (team sprint) and a bronze in the keirin event. – BERNAMA