Izzah aims for composure, stronger tactical awareness

KUALA LUMPUR: National track cyclist Izzah Izzati Asri is looking to be quicker to adapt when racing in new environments.

Izzah admitted that she was not at her best during the Japan Track Cup series earlier this month as she was unfamiliar with the track characteristics at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka.

"I was a bit disappointed with my times in Japan, I felt that I could have gone faster, but it did not happen," said Izzah yesterday (May 20).

"I felt that I had already pushed hard in Japan, however, my times were worse than they were before this. I sometimes struggle to read the track and am still learning in this aspect.

"Riders like Datuk Azizulhasni (Awang) and Shah Firdaus Sahrom are already very experienced and know how to make the necessary changes.

"I am still looking for that ability (to read the track). I have asked for advice from my coach (John Beasley) and the senior riders which I will try my best to apply after this."

Izzah is also hoping to improve on her tactical awareness and also be more calm when racing, especially in the keirin.

"When racing here in Malaysia, I am able to catch up with other riders when left behind but when racing at the international level, there is no room for error," she said.

"When racing against strong riders such as Mina Sato (Japan) you will get dropped if you make one small mistake.

"It is especially important in the keirin. You have to follow a strategy and be in the right position at the right time."

Izzah Izzah, who will turn 21 in September, has already won three Asian Championships medals since breaking into the national senior squad in 2022 and is tipped to be a future star.

She helped Kedah defend their women's elite team sprint title at the ongoing National Championships in Nilai yesterday (May 20).

She is competing in the individual sprint today. The finals for the event will be held the National Velodrome tonight (May 21).

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