LONDON, July 27 (Bernama) -- With just a week before Olympic cycling events start in London, the Malaysian camp made a shocking decision by naming Mohd Azizulhasni Awang as the main rider for both keirin and sprint events.
Another rider with potential to deliver medals, Josiah Ng, has been listed as a reserve for both the track events at the London Olympic Games.
Malaysian cycling team manager Datuk Naim Mohamad said the selection of Mohd Azizulhasni for both events was with the agreement of the national coach from Australia, John Beasley, based on criteria and current achievements of both riders.
"However, it is a preliminary decision to list Mohd Azizulhasni as the main sprinter for both events and the final decision will be made before the day of competition," he told reporters here.
Track cycling events which begin on Aug 4, are among the country's medal hopes in the London Games.
The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) had in June decided to feature senior sprinter Josiah Ng in the sprint event while Mohd Azizulhasni would be the reserve in the sprint event while roles will be reversed in the keirin event with the latter taking the lead role.
Naim said the earlier selection of both riders was made in a MNCF exco meeting in June which was also agreed upon by Beasley while the latest decision, was taken based on scientific evaluation and characters of both riders.
"The decision was discussed with Josiah Ng and he accepted it. He did not appear to be disappointed. Josiah Ng is however, a reserve rider with potential," he said.
In another related development, Naim said injuries sustained by Mohd Azizulhasni in a fall in Cologne, Germany recently was not serious and was considered a minor accident that did not affect his muscle or bone.
On the lone national woman rider Fatehah Mustafa's chances in the keirin event, Naim said the rider was targeting to make it to the final.
"If Fatehah could do that, maybe a medal could be in hand. Who knows Fatehah may sprint to a surprise," he said.
From Zulhilmi Supaat -- BERNAMA