Beasley changes plans due to Azizul uncertainty

ADELAIDE: National head cycling coach John Beasley will have to change his plans for the Adelaide leg of the Track Nations Cup, which starts today.

His star rider, Azizulhasni Awang, is uncertain of getting on the saddle for the keirin event tomorrow while his second rider, Shah Firdaus Sahrom, was ruled out earlier.

Azizul is recovering from pericarditis while Shah suffered heavy bruising, abrasions and a swollen ankle following a crash during training last week after his tyre burst.

Beasley said National Heart Institute director of cardiovascular sports and fitness/senior consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Jeswant Dillon will run some tests on Azizul.

"The advice from the medical team is to proceed without doing things.

"If it was my choice he would be sitting this competition out, though he wanted to come and see how he felt on the day.

"We will make a decision based on how he is feeling on Saturday and if he feels good, we will proceed and take it one race at a time," said Beasley.

"I am by no means a medical expert though I know Azizul well enough to listen to his feedback and make decisions based on that.

"Dr Jeffrey has got some tests he would like to be done and we should be able to get those done with the specialist who is the best in his field just to make doubly sure before we push forward with the next.

"Azizul's response is to compete and keep moving forward on to Paris.

"We have a good medical team around him and we will do everything we can to take extremely good care of him, health is first and foremost.

"Shah will be right in another week as he has a lot of skin that needs to grow and a bruised shoulder."

The long-serving Australian coach conceded that the situation is not ideal, and he hopes the remaining fit rider, Fadhil Zonis, and female riders, Anis Rosidi, Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri and Nurul Aliana Syafika Azizan, could make an impression in Adelaide.

"So both our Olympians are not going to be at their best in Adelaide, not great though it is what it is. That's the world of elite sport.

"Now it's time to make changes to the plan, this is not ideal, though not devastation. That's our job and we will get things back on track as soon as possible.

"Fadhil is here in good shape, also the women are progressing nicely," said Beasley.

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