Shah Firdaus ready to step out from Pocket Rocketman’s shadow

HANGZHOU – National track cyclist, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom seems set to step out from his senior, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang’s shadow at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games that begins officially today.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said Shah Firdaus has long been overshadowed by Mohd Azizulhasni, whose excellence is already well-known internationally, but is now displaying a more aggressive side, and brimming with new-found confidence after being chosen as the contingent’s flagbearer at Hangzhou.

“I think this combination has made him very bullish, with an attitude similar to Mohd Azizulhasni and he has told me he is ready to take on this challenge and is confident of competing well.

“He is also ready to step into Mohd Azizulhasni’s shoes in the keirin event. I think he is ready to rise to the occasion…I like what I see,” he told local media practitoners at a media conference here today.

Mohd Azizulhasni announced his withdrawal from the Hangzhou Games after sustaining a hip injury following a high-speed crash during a training session at the National Velodrome in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan a week ago, and he is replaced by Muhammad Fadhil Mohd Zonis, who will compete with Shah Firdaus in the keirin event.

Johorian Shah Firdaus won the silver in the keirin event at the 2019 and 2022 Asian Championship followed by the bronze in the 2023 edition in Nilai.

He also teamed up with Mohd Azizulhasni and Muhammad Fadhil to win the silver in the team sprint event at the 2018 Asian Games. – BERNAMA