AZIZUL Hasni Awang is looking to cap what is turning out to be a successful 2010 with two gold medals in the Guangzhou Asian Games in November.
The 22-year-old rider from Terengganu, crowned 2009 Sportsman of the Year on Tuesday, is targeting gold in his pet events — the keirin and 200m sprint.
A world silver medallist in both — the sprint last year and the keirin this year — Azizul however said it will be a tough challenge.
“I know it won’t be easy, especially with riders from China, South Korea and Japan showing significant improvement but I have to try,” said Azizul after receiving a RM160,000 scholarship from Yayasan Sime Darby yesterday. Azizul is studying at the Deikin University in Australia.
The pint-sized cyclist from Dungun has over the past two years dispelled the misconception about size being a disadvantage in the world of track cycling by bringing the power-to-weight ratio into play.
However, he suffered a major setback when he failed to win a medal at the Asian Cycling Championships in UAE last month.
Azizul said he is aware that to succeed in the Asian Games, he will have to train harder and stay focused.
“There is no shortcut to success. I will have to identify my weaknesses and rectify them.”
He was grateful that his contributions to the nation have been given due consideration.
“I hope the scholarship given to me will spur and motivate other young athletes to excel in sports and achieve their dreams.” — Bernama