NILAI: National riders Fadhil Zonis and Izzah Izati Asri both had plenty to smile about after ending their campaign at the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) on the podium today.
It was a case of third time lucky for Fadhil in the men's 1 kilometre time trial. He clocked a respectable one minute and 0.559 seconds to claim the gold at the National Velodrome.
India's Ronaldo Laitonjam (1:00.863s) and South Korea's Choi Woorim (1:01.541s) came in second and third, respectively.
Fadhil had won silver twice in the discipline at the 2020 edition in South Korea and New Delhi last year.
The 25-year-old dedicated the win to his family.
"After coming close twice, I have finally done it, my prayers have been answered," said Fadhil.
"It was quite emotional because I always wanted to win this Asian (champion's) jersey for my late father, who sacrificed a lot to support me throughout my career. It just so happened that yesterday was Father's Day.
"This is also for my family and my wife who have always been there for me. I get to see her only once a week because I am focusing on training."
Fadhil's father, Zonis Mokhtar, died in 2019 due to diabetes and kidney complications.
The women's 500m time trial saw Izzah clocking 34.226s in the final, breaking the national record. The record of 34.542s had been set by Fatehah Mustapa in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
Izzah's time, however, was only enough to secure her silver this time behind China's Jiang Yulu (33.426s). Japan's Aki Sakai (34.273s) completed the podium.
Izzah had won the gold in the event on her ACC debut last year, albeit against a weaker field. A number of countries did not compete in New Delhi last year due to Covid-19.
The 19-year-old was pleased with her performance.
"To me, this is a big achievement. I did not expect to break the national record nor finish on the podium because a lot of the stronger riders came to compete this year," said Izzah.
"I have been more focused on the keirin and sprint events during training so to be able to break the time trial record is quite a surprise.
"I will continue working hard and hope to continue lowering the record in the future."
Youngster Zulfahmi Aiman Zulkurnain also did well to claim bronze in the men's junior elimination race. Japan's Kensyou Kanai and Kazakhstan's Vyacheslav Sichkarev won gold and silver, respectively.