Malaysia does not lack talented riders but its development network needs to be improved, says Azizulhasni

KUALA LUMPUR: National track cyclist Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang believes there are plenty of talented riders yet to be discovered in Malaysia.

Azizulhasni said Malaysia's ecosystem for track cycling needed to be improved if more world-class riders were to be unearthed and subsequently groomed.

"In Malaysia, sports such as badminton and football already have their own structures, they have a network, which may not be perfect, though can still be considered good. Cycling here is still lacking in terms of its network," said Azizulhasni yesterday.

"Sometimes, when I attend sponsor events, parents come up to me and ask how their children can also become national riders. I'm not able to answer them.

"In Australia, for example, it has a club-based system. (Australian children) can join the clubs and compete at the district level, followed by the national level, and so on.

"We have an ecosystem, but there is still room for improvement. If we have a (better) network in place, it will be easier to identify the next generation of talent and further grow the sport.

"We can then find more individuals, such as Nurul Izzah Izzati Asri. She and I may be small (physically) but we are able to be highly competitive at the international level.

"I think there are many more talented riders out there, we just have not found them yet."

Nurul Izzah, who will turn 21 in September, has had a solid season so far after winning two gold, one silver and one bronze at the Asian Championships in New Delhi in February.

She finished in the top-eight position at the Milton, Canada round of the UCI Nations Cup recently, which secured her a ticket to the Paris Olympics.

She will compete in France alongside Azizulhasni and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories