Azizul Awang reveals why he chose cycling, not badminton or football

Looks like all successful people do live by the same mantra: Follow your passion, the fame and fortune will follow.

Last week, national cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang achieved his life-long dream of being crowned world cycling champion.

Azizul clinched the gold medal after defeating Colombia’s Fabian Puerta Zapata and Czech Republic’s Tomas Babek at the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong on Thursday.

To make that victory sweeter, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that Azizul Awang will be the first cyclist ride in the National Velodrome in Nilai upon its completion.

In the midst of all the celebration, pride, and glory, this question probably popped into your mind at some point: Why did Azizul Awang choose cycling of all the sports in the world? What drove him to the sport?

Cycling isn’t even that popular in Malaysia – especially before Azizul Awang came into the picture. Is the prize money even lucrative? What was in it for him?

“My dream is not to chase after money but to fulfil my dream and hoist Malaysian cycling on the world stage.” Bernama quoted the Pocket Rocketman as saying.

“To me, cash incentives is a bonus. If you go after performance, the money will come to you.” the Terengganu-born hero confessed.

Photo: KhairyKJ

“If I wanted to become a millionaire, I would probably have taken up football or badminton. But that’s not the point.” he added.

Apart from the gold medal he bagged in Hong Kong, Azizul also finally donned the much-coveted rainbow jersey as world champion.

Now if this isn’t a perfect example to the adage, “the world will make way for the man who knows where he is going”, we don’t know what is.

So is Azizul going to pull a Nico Rosberg and retire, now that he has achieved his childhood dreams and it feels like he’s standing on top of the world? No he’s not. In fact, he’s going to kick things up a notch.

“My next target is to win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.” the Pocket Rocketman revealed. The 29-year-old will be working closely with his coach, John Beasley, to devise their strategy and training program ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

But before that, Azizul Awang will be featuring in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August.

Good luck Azizul, know that we’re all on your side!

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