If you’re living through a short-term loss of motivation, head off to cycling. The cycling community will never lack drive and enthusiasm. When speaking of the sport, we are reminded of Azizulhasni Awang who made the country proud by winning Malaysia’s first bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Rio. Then, the small stature clinched a world title at Hong Kong Track Cycling World Championships 2017.
Back at 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Para Games, the nation highly applauded the outstanding results Malaysian cyclists had accomplished, not only in track cycling but also BMX and road cycling. From the cyclists’ tenacities we should be delighted about, to the bitter-sweet memories being imprinted in our heart; the community has never stopped honoring its pride to us.
After a wonderful ending at the SEA Games, the 2018 Asian Track Championships was once again be overwhelmed with track enthusiasts competing at the Velodrom Nasional Malaysia in Nilai from 16th to 20th February 2018.
After hosting the 2012 Asian Track Championships about six years ago, this time, Malaysia was once again honored to be hosting the 2018 edition. The five-day event involved 21 countries, including South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Malaysia and more.
The difference and specialization of this race were that it was the first cycling event in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar that offers merit points for qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In this 38th edition, the championships saw renowned names such as Azizulhasni Awang, Lee Wai Sze, and Kazunari Watanabe sprinting vehemently to achieve points for qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. It cannot be denied that every point in the race is significant for the cyclists.
Furthermore, the meet also saw the presence of UCI’s new president, David Lappartient. As stated by The President of Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF), Datuk Haji Abu Samah, he is determined to persuade David to reconsider his personal recommendation in opening more entries to countries from Australia and New Zealand. The aim is to allow the Asian Track Championships to be enhanced to a very high level of competition.
Being held early this year, the Asian Track Championships had been a main focus for the national elite squad and their mediocre results at the meet. While the 38th Asian Track Championships’ one gold, one silver, and two bronze medalists were not a thumping issue to boast about, their physical appearances and dedications provided more than a glimpse into the potential they could be fulfilling at major competitions this year, and the years ahead.
Last but not least, it should also be signified that the Asian Junior Track and Para Asian Track Championships had concluded a booming and thriving outcome in most categories in this edition. The milestone was undeniably a significant step for Junior and Para Cycling bolstering its standing as the top-notch representation in the cycling community in Malaysia.
OF 38TH ASIAN TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS, 25TH ASIAN JUNIOR TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS & 7TH PARA ASIAN TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS.
- Azizulhasni Awang, who bagged silver in the sprint and bronze in the keirin, and Shah Firdaus Sahrom, both broke the 10-second mark in the sprint qualifying round. Azizulhasni’s 9.774s not only ameliorated the national record but also the Asian record in the event.
- The heroine of track cycling, Fatehah Mustapa who won a bronze in the women’s 500m time trial did well to plunge on the 11.2s mark in the women’s sprint qualifying for the first time in over three years.
- Ju Pha Som Net inspirationally leaped forward at the Asian Track Championships by triumphing over the women’s points race. However, she could only settle for seventh in the omnium and eighth in the scratch race. The 24-year-old has finished on the podium in the points race three times prior to her win. She clinched bronze in 2013 and 2014, and silver at the 2016 edition.
- Irwandie Lakasek, Nur Aiman Rosli, Mohd Afiq Huznie Othman and Muhammad Danieal Haikkal Eddy, the foursome from the men’s team pursuit clocked a new national record of 4:09:60s in qualifying to blot out the former mark of 4:09:99s obtained by Eiman Firdaus Mohd Zamri, Muhammad Aiman Zariff and Irwandie at KL Sea Games 2017.
- Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan and Anis Amira Rosidi came in fifth from 10 teams in the women’s event with a time of 34.728s.
- Khairil Nizam Rasol, Shariz Effendi Mohd Shahrin and Mohd Fadhil Zonis settled for seventh in the men’s 12-team competition on 45.023s.
- The boys’ junior team sprint comprising Ridwan Sahrom, Amar Danial Masri and Fariz Haikal Mohamad Kadir clocked 47.149s clinching bronze. They had earlier finished third in the qualifying round on 46.708s.
- The boys’ junior team pursuit comprising Zulhelmi Zainai, Shafiq Mohamad, Hakimi Nor and Shahmir Riduan Abdul Halim bagged bronze with a new national record of 4:20.355.
- 18-year-old junior cyclist Amar Danial Masri delivered a silver medal clocking 1:03.735 in the men’s junior 1km time trial event to erase the previous national junior record of 1:03.962 held by Muhd Firdaus Zonis since 2014.
- Zulhelmi Zainal became the first ever Malaysian cyclist to seize a gold clocking 3:24.985 in the men’s junior 3km individual pursuit event at the 2018 Asian Junior Track Championships.
- Alif Aiman Safuan achieved a silver medal in junior sprint event.
- World championship bronze medallists Afiq Afify Rizan and Khairul Adha Rasol wrapped up the men’s B tandem sprint gold clinched two gold clocking 10.659s and 10.833s to defeat Aiman Asyraff Ahmad Bajuri and Mohd Faizal Mohamed Noh who won silver.
- After the car accident last year, pilot Mohd Nur Rizuan Zainal with blind cyclist Mohd Khairul Hazwan Wahab clinched a gold in the men’s B 4km individual pursuit in 4:41.211s.
- Aiman Asyraff Ahmad Bajuri and pilot Mohd Faizal Mohamed Noh clocked 1:04.480s and earned a gold in the men’s 1km time trial.
- Nur Azlia Syafinaz Mohd Zais and Noraidillina J.SAM who won three gold on their debut as a pair at the KL Asean Para Games last year, attained three gold in women’s B sprint, 3km individual pursuit and 1km time trial against Nur Syahida Tajudin and Nurul Suhada Zainal.
- Two other silver medals were contributed by Shukor Farhan Suliman in the C1-C3 men’s individual pursuit event followed by Mohd Najib Turano in the C4-C5 men’s individual pursuit event.
- Three bronze medals were won respectively by Mohamad Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin in the C1-C3 men’s individual pursuit, Muhammad Fadli Imammuddin in the C4-C5 men’s individual pursuit.
- Another three gold medals were obtained in the men’s category through Mohamad Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin in the 1km C1-C3 individual time trial; Zuhairi Ahmad Tarmizi in the 1km C4-C5 time trial, as well as from the trio of Muhammad Adi Raime Amizazahan, Mohd Najib Turano, and Zuhairi in team sprint event.