Friday, June 8, 2012

Proving that size is no setback

Azizul the pocket rocket as he is popularly known is no stranger in the world of professional track cycling. Having won numerous competitions and races, he has certainly made his nation proud. Danny Lau from Top 10 of Malaysia had an opportunity to speak to Azizulhasni and catch up with him on his latest development in the world of cycling. At the time of the interview Azizulhasni is also pursuing a Commerce degree majoring in sports management.
Q: “Azizul the pocket rocket” - who gave you the nickname?
A: The nickname was given to me by the commentators and I am very fond of it as it denotes something that is small yet powerful. I would love to prove to others that small does not mean weak!
Q: What are the distinguishing characteristics of competitive cycling?
A: In Malaysia, track cycling is not well-known as in other countries but I love this sport very much. Basically the bikes that we use are “fixed gear” bikes where track riders tend to ride at a much higher cadence (the number of revolution of the crank per minute) compared to road riders due to the need of balancing both the top speed and acceleration in one gear.
Q: What are some of the notable accomplishments you have achieved so far?
A: There are quite a number of accomplishments that I have achieved thus far but one that sticks out for me was during the Manchester World Cup series in 2010 where I managed to cross the finishing line with a splinter in my calf but I still managed to bag a bronze medal.
Q: What is your comment about the sports culture in Malaysia and overseas, any similarities or differences?
A: The sports culture in Malaysia is progressing and I can see that the Malaysian government is trying their best to develop the sports industry to world class standards. In foreign countries, health and fitness is taken very seriously and the culture is instilled at a very young age to the people there. For example in Australia they have sport facilities in every suburb which is convenient for the people there. I believe that Malaysia can achieve this as well and the end product of this is that Malaysia will soon start to produce talented sportsmen.
Q: How have your preparations been like for the 2012 Olympics?
A: During the weekdays, I wake up every morning at 5 and hit the gym, then go to class. Afterwards, I will go straight to the track for practice. Supplements are always with me and of course there is a proper diet which I must follow. Having said that I also indulge a bit during the weekends and eat like a true Malaysian where I ask my wife to cook Malaysian food for me.
Q: What do you think is the key to your success?
A: I would say that discipline is the key to success and without discipline one will find it very hard to accomplish anything that they have set out for themselves. The ability to get things done at the appropriate time in order to accomplish a specific goal is not easy and not everyone can do it. As for me I want to be a successful cyclist, husband and student at the same time.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I can honestly say that my wife, Tya Ilyana is the one who inspires me and there is also my family who have been beside me through the good times and also the bad times. And without a doubt, my country, Malaysia that has provided me with all these opportunities – I hope that my achievements will make my country proud.
Q: Do you have any advice for those who want to pursue a career in track cycling?
A: Cycling for any purpose is indeed a sure way to keep fit and healthy, just make sure that you enjoy it and never give up on your dreams and passion but make sure you put safety first above anything else.


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