Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Azizul eager to impress again after poor outing in Asian meet By RAJES PAUL

KUALA LUMPUR: After returning home empty handed from the Asian Championships in New Delhi last month, top national track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is itching for some action again. The Olympian has set his sights on at least a podium finish when he takes part in a series of races in Cottbuss, Germany, in June in a bid to qualify for the World Cup Series in October. Azizul, who is based in Melbourne, said he returned from the Asian Championships with mixed feelings. “Initially, I was not listed to compete in the Asian Championships due to the delay in getting my visa done. I had not trained properly and all that I did in Malaysia was just training on the road,” said Azizul.

 “After a discussion with my coach John Beasley, we decided that the Asian meet will be part of my training. “We used the tournament to monitor my current condition and planned for my next training programme. “Of course, I felt disappointed that I returned empty handed from New Delhi but I was impressed with my timing.

 “Without proper training, I was able to clock quite good times at the start of the season. It gave my coach and I an idea on how to go about my plans for the year. “I am now looking forward for the few races in Europe (Germany) to collect points for the World Cup Series. I hope to race well, much better than the Asian meet and get the taste of one podium finish.” “My team-mates (Josiah Ng and Fatehah Mustapha) will be leaving first (to Europe) and I will join them after sitting for my final exam at the university,” said Azizul, who is doing his Sports Science degree at the University of Victoria. Azizul is now juggling his studies and train ing as well as being a parent. He is the father of a six-month old girl – Amna Maryam.

 “I’m all right despite being busy with training, attending classes and taking care of my little one,” he said. “Fatherhood is a great experience for me. The responsibility as a father somehow motivates me to train even harder. “When I come back home exhausted from training, the smiling face of my child just makes me forget about all those pain in my body.

” Azizul was also delighted to note that the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) had taken steps to solve the issues of bungling officials during Asian Championships. Then, Azizul had tweeted about his dissatisfaction of how things were run which eventually exposed the absence of the team manager during one of the competition days. Azizul said he would continue to do his part to protect the interest of the cyclists.

 “It is a good lesson to show that no one is untouchable. “And when someone makes a mistake, they must accept it and make a change. It is for a better future,” said Azizul, adding that he would continue to highlight the plight of the cyclists through the social media platform.

Azizulhasni: Fatherhood Won't Slow Me Down

PETALING JAYA: Fatherhood has never stopped top Australian cyclist Shane Perkins from succeeding on the track, despite having to juggle between daily training and fulfilling his duties as a doting dad to two kids. Two world titles in individual keirin and team sprint two years after the arrival of his first son Aidan in 2008 and an Olympics bronze medal in London last August are testament to that. And Malaysia’s own track cycling ace Azizulhasni Awang is determined to do the same thing now that he is officially a father.
The 25-year-old welcomed a new addition to the family on Tuesday night when his wife, Athiah Ilyana Abdul Samad, gave birth to a healthy baby girl in her hometown in Ipoh. The proud father is glad everything turned out well as his wife was not due to deliver until Nov 18. “She gave birth to our daughter, who weighs 3.99kg, at 6.30pm.

My wife first complained of abdominal pain in the morning and was taken to the operation room in the afternoon," said Azizulhasni (pic). “The doctor advised her to deliver by Ceasarean-section as the baby is quite big. I feel on top of the world now that I am a father ... after waiting for months. “It feels greater than winning a gold medal. “I’m just glad both mother and child are okay,” said a proud Azizulhasni, who plans to name his child when she is exactly a week old.

 The cyclist, however, will be returning to Melbourne early next month to resume training, but he is determined not to miss out on the joys of parenthood. “My wife and baby girl will stay with my in-laws until the year is over. “I will take them to Melbourne after that. “If my wife decides to work, I’ll bring my daughter to the track,” said Azizul, who is only the second Malaysian after Josiah Ng to ride in an Olympics final in London in August. “I think everything can be sorted out. Shane brings his children to the track and he often says that his family is his biggest inspiration. He still became world champion and if he can go through these things, there is no reason why I can’t.” Azizul, a two-time World Championship silver medallist and Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallist, is skipping the second leg of the Track World Cup in Glasgow next weekend. He did not compete in the first leg of the World Cup in Cali last month either. Ummi Hamimah and Malek Marcus McCrone will carry the Malaysian challenge in the World Cup meet at the newly-built Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow. - The Star
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