SEPANG, Sept 3 — National cycling champion Azizulhasni Awang is a world-class athlete and is a gold medal prospect at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
After bringing glory to the country with his gold medal success in the sprint event at the Asian Games in Indonesia and a keirin world champion at the 2017 World Championships, Azizulhasni had proven that he was currently in a class of his own among the world’s greatest cyclists.
Azizulhasni also won a silver medal in the men’s team sprint and a bronze medal in the keirin event at the recent Asian Games.
Podium Programme chief, Dr P. Vella Pandian said Azizulhasni was a consistent high-performance athlete and his mental, physical and tactical preparations were on par with those of the leading athletes in the world.
“We hope that his performance will remain outstanding in facing the Olympic Games. There is still a year-and-a-half for a thorough preparation, “he told reporters after arriving at Sepang International Airport here today.
Azizulhasni was a Rio Olympics’ bronze medallist for the keirin event.
Meanwhile, Dr Vella said, although badminton has failed to contribute medals at the Asian Games, the national badminton players, especially the Rio Olympics finalists, were still competitive and there was still time to improve their performance.
Dr Vella also mentioned that other sports that needed to be focused on were diving, sailing and archery.
Dr Vella also pointed out that the Podium Programme did not fail even though only six athletes under the National Sports Institute won gold medals for the contingent.
Malaysia finished in Asian Games with seven gold medals, 12 silver and 16 bronze medals.
“As I have said before, we will review this programme. Overall, almost 80 per cent of the medal contributors was from the podium programme athlete, namely, 27 medals out of 36 won.
“I did not say the podium programme failed, it requires a continuous process ... the 2020 Olympic Games is also the podium target, there is still a year and a half to prove the success of the programme,” he said. — Bernama