Azizulhasni still bent on chasing Paris Olympic gold

Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (right)
03/10/2022 04:32 PM

PETALING JAYA, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- After five months of rest following heart surgery, national track cycling champion Datuk Azizulhasni Awang's dream of chasing his first Olympics gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics is still burning bright.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medallist said that despite having to start all over again after facing health problems, it has not dampened his determination to get on the top of the podium at the most prestigious Games.

"Many people have asked me whether I still want to go through it all over again, my answer is yes, Even my mother and wife have told me to stop but I have a mindset, I want to prove to myself that nothing is impossible.

"Whether I get (the gold) or not in Paris is a different story, it's about trying and making the effort. I hope what I do can inspire young people and future generations," he told reporters after being introduced as Gardenia's ambassador at the rebranding launch ceremony of Gardenia Breakthru here today.

The 34-year-old said that he had already discussed with the head coach of the national track cycling squad, John Beasley, about participating in several races this December as part of his preparation for the Paris Olympics.

Dubbed the Pocket Rocketman, Azizulhasmi is also aiming to win a medal in his final outing in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next year.

“I am taking it one step at a time, I don't want to rush, when I started training I really wanted to push myself but I listened to the doctor's advice because I have to take care of my health. The Olympics is two years away, so there is no need to rush.

"To be specific, I'm not sure how long before I can return to training as usual, now I'm only doing base training for December. To achieve the best performance at the Asian Games, that's my target," he said.

Azizulhasni said he will continue to be based in Melbourne, Australia to undergo preparatory training, before returning to the national team in January.

Meanwhile, commenting on his appointment as Gardenia's ambassador, Azizulhasni said he was chosen to inspire the people to always adopt a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritious food.

"In our society, it is very important to have an icon and an example for the public about a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating, so we can start with this Gardenia Breakthru," he said.