IPOH,. Training with Malaysia’s “Pocket Rocketman” Mohd Azizulhasni Awang has paid off for Selangor cyclist Muhamad Shariz Efendi Mohd Shahrin, who won his first Malaysian Games (Sukma) gold today.
The 21-year-old won in the men’s sprint event at the Velodrome Rakyat here after beating Muhammad Ridwan Sharom of Johor in both the races.
The crowd was on the edge of their seat as Shariz displayed a lightning-like speed in the last 100m of the second race when he came from behind to beat Ridwan.
“It was tense in the last round of the second race. The opponent was leading, but I know I can overtake him with my experience and tactics,” he told reporters later.
“I’m proud and happy with my performance. One of the favourite cyclists for this event, Muhammad Khairil Nizam Rasol did not qualify for the final, so that made it easy for me,” he added.
Shariz said the tips and knowledge shared by Azizulhasni, who won Olympic keirin bronze in 2016 and the world title in 2017, helped him tremendously.
“He is not only my training partner, he is my mentor and idol as well. I learned a lot from him,” he said, also thanking his parents for their support and encouragement.
He said he is looking forward to win another gold in his favourite event, keirin, which will be held tomorrow.
“It’s not just about podium finish, I want to win gold in the keirin event. That’s my favourite event… the win today is like a bonus for me,” he said.
The full-time athlete also said that after Sukma he will be preparing for the Asian Cup, which will be held in Bangkok next month.
In the women’s sprint event, national athlete Anis Amira Rosidi from Perlis won the gold medal after defeating Terengganu’s Siti Nur Alia Mansor 2-0, who settled for the silver medal.
Kedah’s Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri won the bronze medal after beating Selangor’s Nurul Nazirah Mohd Rosli 2-0.
Meanwhile, Terengganu’s Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan won the gold medal in the 4km individual pursuit event ahead of Johor’s Eiman Firdaus Mohd Zamri who settled for silver.
Sabah’s Waldron Chee Wen Chon beat Selangor’s Muhsin Al Redha Misbah to win the bronze medal.