WITH the Tokyo Olympics having been postponed to next year, national track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang took a moment to reflect on his historic win at the 2017 World Championships.
Azizulhasni, then 29, won the keirin gold in emphatic style in Hong Kong after taking a commanding lead at the final bend which allowed him to cross the line with his trademark wheelie.
It clinched him Malaysia’s first world title in track cycling and more importantly proved the doubters wrong.
“After 10 years of hardship and (settling for) one silver and two bronze at previous editions of the world championships, I was able to create history by becoming the world champion in my pet event,” said Azizulhasni on his Facebook page.
“It was the first world title for Malaysia as well as for a cyclist from the Asian continent in the men’s keirin.
“It was the biggest victory (for me) and I finished it beautifully with my trademark wheelie.
“I still remember when some people looked down on me for only getting a bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“They spoke of the fact that I was too old to compete at this level and should retire.
“But I have definitely proved them all wrong. Never underestimate yourself when you know your capabilities, even if you are faced with such setbacks.”
The Pocket Rocketman added that he had also been catching up on his studies during the 2017 world meet.
The Dungun-born rider, based in Melbourne with the national elite squad since 2007, read sports science at the Victoria University.
“There are no shortcuts to success. Work hard, be patient, consistent and never give up. I will always hold on to these in my life.”
Azizulhasni will once again look to create history at the Tokyo Games next year by becoming the first ever Malaysian to win a gold medal at the Olympics.