Malaysia’s national track cyclist must not be excluded from medal chances

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TOKYO: It is too soon to question the true ability of the Malaysia track cyclists, lead by Keirin ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, in their mission to make history at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Former national track cyclist Mohd Rizal Tisin, 37 has shared that although Malaysia’s challenge in the sprint event ended early, it should not be used to gauge the chances of Mohd Azizulhasni and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom in the Keirin event on Saturday. 

Mohd Rizal won bronze in the 1-kilometre time trial at the 2009 World Championships. He has shared that sprint and Keirin cycling categories require different tactical approaches. Hence, it’s not fair to prejudge a cyclists capabilities based solely on the sprint as both sprint and keirin are not similar to athletic events such as the 100-metre and 200 metres sprints. 

Sprint is 70 % power and 30% tactical skills whereas keirin is 50-50. Keirin is also dependent on the start list and positioning at the start of the race.

Although Azizulhasni, who is nicknamed The Pocket Rocketman, and Muhammad Shah Firdaus have failed to win any medals in the sprint event the duo can still win in the Keirin at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka on Saturday.- BERNAMA

*Photo for illustrations only.

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