KUALA LUMPUR: The British approach is what cycling world champion Azizulhasni Awang is looking at as he seeks to scale down on competitive racing and prepare for his assault on Olympic glory in Tokyo in 2020.
The Melbourne-based Azizul, 29, said he would definitely defend his world keirin title in Holland next year before shifting his focus to the Olympics in Tokyo, where he hopes to snatch the nation’s first gold medal.
“Britain have always been successful in Olympic track cycling.
“We can see why … their cyclists do not go to all the competitions in the build-up to the Olympics.
“Their only focus is to peak at the Olympics.
“I will follow their module and just go for specific competitions so as to pick up enough ranking points before the Olympics,” said Azizul, who made the nation proud by winning the keirin event at the Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong last month.
Britain won six of the 10 events in track cycling at the Rio Olympics last year. The British team also claimed seven of the 10 golds when they hosted the Olympics in London in 2012.
“Now that I am the world champion, it does not mean I can shake my legs,” said Azizul after being honoured as a Malaysian sporting hero by Pavilion Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“In fact, I have to work harder as everyone will be out to beat me. But it won’t be easy for my rivals to take the world title away from me.”
Azizulhasni, who was also presented with a RM20,000 shopping voucher by Pavillion, also shared his memories in Hong Kong and said that he received lots of compliments from cycling legends.
“They said that the last time they ever saw someone winning by a big margin like what I did was when Frederic Magne of France won in the 1990s and Holland’s Theo Bos in 2006,” said the Rio Olympic bronze medallist.