Mohd Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin (pic) has virtually secured another prized spot at the Tokyo Paralympics for Malaysia with his bronze medal feat at the recent Para Cycling Track World Championships in Milton, Canada last week.
However, he is not assured of joining the Tokyo Paralympics contingent. The slot goes to the nation and not the individual.
The 22-year-old rode his way to a historic bronze in the men’s C1 scratch race event at the para world meet last week. Spaniard Ricardo Argiles won the race ahead of Russian Ivan Ermakov.
Yusof’s achievement was nothing short of impressive as it is only the second time Malaysia made the podium at the para cycling world championships.
Afiq Afify Rizan and Khairul Adha Rasol rode to a bronze in the men’s tandem (B) sprint event at the 2017 edition in Los Angeles, United States.
Yusof, who suffers from muscle impairment since birth, is leaving it to the management and coaches to decide on who will get the spot to Tokyo.
The cast for the Paralympics will be determined by end of June.
“We already won one slot last year in the road competition and it is very possible we will get another slot for the track as the ranking points are very good.
“It is earned for the country and not the individual. I am okay with whatever decision as I know the coaches select who they feel will be the strongest for Paralympics, ” said Yusof, who was delighted with his feat.
“After China and Japan, we are the only Asian country to have won a medal and it’s an achievement, considering we are just a very small group.
Yusof just missed out on a second medal when he finished fourth with Najib Turano and Zuhairi Ahmad Tarmizi in the mixed team sprint event.
The trio were beaten by United States in the ride for the bronze medal while China beat Britain to the gold.
Afiq-Khairul also qualified for the para world meet in the men’s tandem (B) 1km time trial and sprint but did not make an impact.
The duo crashed out in the quarter-finals in the sprint and finished 13th in the 1km time trial.