05/06/2024 10:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Bernama) -- Three national track cyclists set to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics received a motivational boost today as they were feted to a tea party hosted by former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam at his residence in Bukit Tunku here .

The trio are Malaysia's gold medal hopeful and former 2017 keirin world champion Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri.

The informal event was also attended by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, Sime Darby Foundation (YSD) chairman Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, who is also former Olympic Council  of Malaysia (OCM president, national track cycling team head coach John Beasley, and representatives from corporate bodies.

“Today I see this gathering as an important show of support by Malaysians, and of course here are their (athletes') sponsors, people who have been with them for a long time, and we know how important Paris is to our athletes especially for Datuk Azizulhasni.

“We hope from now until 50 days later (the opening of Paris Olympics) the preparation and everything will go well for them,” Hannah told a press conference after the event.

Meanwhile, Mohd Azizulhasni, nicknamed 'The Pocket Rocketman', said Tun Musa, who is also a former YSD chairman, has been a significant figure in his career, providing much-needed support for him and the national track cycling team over the years.

"At the start of my career, Tun and YSD believed in us, sponsoring our cycling team in Melbourne, Australia, and also offering a scholarship for me to study. That was the starting point for me to go further, a paradigm shift," said the 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medallist in keirin.

Tun Musa, who preferred to keep his comments brief, said, "I wish the best to our representatives. All said and done, we should do it, and indeed we can do it, insya-Allah."

The Paris Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.





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