By LIM TEIK HUATKUALA LUMPUR: Azizul Hasni Awang has raised the profile of Malaysian track cycling with his exploits in recent times and another Terengganu-born rider is hoping to follow suit.
Muhd Adiq Husainie will be looking to made an impact for Malaysia in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, which begins in Sydney tomorrow.
The 18-year-old, who is also the flag bearer of the 97-strong Malaysian contingent, will compete in three track events — 3km individual pursuit, 10km scratch and 25km point race.
Adiq, who hails from Kemaman, started out in mountain biking but decided to switch to the track disciplines this year as he felt that he had a better chance of making a better impact.
He also tried out in road races and won a bronze in the individual time trial at the Asian junior championships in Nara, Japan, last year.
The performances of his seniors, among them Azizul and female cyclist Fatehah Mustapa at the international level, also inspired him to give track racing a serious thought.
“They are from Terengganu and because of them there is a strong interest in track cycling as more youngsters are keen to get involved.
“I feel track is more suitable for my physique. I hope to break into the senior squad and make a name for myself in the future,” said Adiq, who hopes to return from Sydney with a medal in his debut in the biennial Festival.
“It is a good start to be the flag bearer for Malaysia and I want to also give strong performances in competitions on the track.”
Adiq was not selected for the previous Festival because he did not meet the minimum age requirement for track cycling.
Besides cycling, Malaysia athletes will also feature in seven other sports in a 17-sport programme. They are archery, diving, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, men’s hockey and shooting. The contingent left for Sydney yesterday.
Malaysia had a medal haul of 1-6-5 at the last Festival with badminton delivering the sole gold medal. Badminton is not in the programme this time and the medal hopes will be on the archers, cyclists and shooters.
Besides the hosts, the Festival sees the participation of 26 foreign contingents, including China and Britain.