Shah to lead charge in World Championships

KUALA LUMPUR: Track cyclist Shah Firdaus Sahrom hopes to make inroads when he competes for honours at the World Championships in Paris on Oct 12-16.

The 26-year-old, who marked his career progression by clinching the keirin bronze at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last month, will lead the Malaysian team at the world meet.

Malaysia will compete in the men's sprint, keirin and 1km time trial events in Paris.

Shah will focus on the keirin and sprint, while compatriot Fadhil Zonis will compete in the 1km time trial.

Shah and Fadhil bagged silver in the keirin and 1km time trial events at the Asian Track Cycling Championships in New Delhi in June.

Shah and Fadhli will have to rise to the occasion in Paris without two-time Olympic medallist Azizulhasni Awang, who is recovering from heart surgery. Azizulhasni is expected back later this year.

"Azizulhasni used to take up the slots in the keirin and sprint in the world meet. I will be doing both events in his absence," said Shah today.

"Of course, there is pressure as I had won bronze at the Commonwealth Games. I am in good shape and will try my best to achieve the targets.

"I am not looking at the podium just yet. The first mission is to qualify for the keirin final.

"However, it will not be easy as all the best cyclists will be in Paris."

Up-and-coming cyclist Nurul Izzah Izzati Asri will make her world meet debut in Paris after clinching the women's 500m time trial gold at the Asian Championships.

Compatriot Anis Amira Rosidi is expected to get the sprint slot following her fine showing at the recent Track Asia Cup in Thailand.

Malaysia are on the reserve list for the men's and women's team sprint events.

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