Paris 2024: Beasley Opts For Strategic Approach, Avoid Overloading Azizulhasni

15/05/2024 11:42 AM

By Amiril Muttaqien Meketar

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 (Bernama) -- While many athletes ramp up their training regimes ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, that may not be the case for national track cycling ace, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang.

National track cycling head coach John Beasley said he will try to avoid overloading the 36-year-old with excessive training loads, ensuring the latter remains fit and raring to blaze the track in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome.

“Honestly we are on track with regards to our preparations for Paris, the only area we need to pay very close attention to is his health.

“Yes we still work really hard though we don't do the volume that we used to do and that is the key because if I can keep him healthy, he will perform well in Paris,” he told Bernama.

Recently, Azizulhasni, nicknamed ‘The Pocket Rocketman’, vowed to clinch Malaysia's first gold medal at the Paris Olympics in his fifth and final appearance at the quadrennial Games.

Azizulhasni had previously won silver and bronze for the keirin event at the Tokyo edition in 2020 and Rio in 2016, respectively.

In 2022, the Dungun-born rider underwent open heart surgery due to a rare heart condition known as anomalous aortic origin of the right coronary artery (AAORCA) at the Epworth Richmond Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Meanwhile, Beasley was truly delighted at his charges’ performance in the Japan Track Cup series in Izu Velodrome, Shizuoka last week after taking home two bronze medals in the individual sprint discipline and keirin.

“We got exactly what we were looking for, 10 races on day one, eight races on day two and three races on day three.

“The races were extremely high standard, so I could not be more than happy with our preparation at this moment in time. I am never surprised when it comes to Azizulhasni as he still finds a way to get onto the podium,” he added.

As such, the coach believed that the former men’s keirin world champion would be in his best shape and would leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of excellence at the upcoming Olympic Games.

In the meantime, Beasley also shared that Azizulhasni will take part in probably one last competition in Belgium at the end of June before heading to Paris.

He said he planned to put the 2010 Asian Games men’s keirin gold medallist in the sprint event only to avoid potential crashes before the Paris Olympics.

“In sprint event, we only have one other opponent on the track so in lots of ways we can tune up our tactics without placing him in any sort of danger,” he said.

Apart from Azizulhasni, two other national cyclists Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri have also secured their spots for the 2024 Olympic Games will be held from July 26 until Aug 11.