Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Awang back on track

AZIZUL Hasni Awang is back on his bicycle and aching to begin training at the national track elite team's Melbourne base within the next two weeks.

Reigning UCI World Cup keirin champion Azizul, 23, however, will still have to look at whether physiotherapy on his right calf has helped him regain full fitness.

Though Azizul has begun riding his road bike in an effort to build his endurance, just when he gets back into full training to regain the form that made him the 2010 Sportsman of the Year is something he isn't ready to answer yet.

Azizul's calf was pierced by a wood splinter when he crashed in the keirin final of the UCI World Cup final round in Manchester in March.

"My leg has healed but I'm still going through physiotherapy. If all goes well, I'd like to be heading back to Melbourne within the next two weeks, but I don't know for sure if that's possible," said Azizul, when met yesterday.

The Dungun-born cyclist has yet to begin heavy training and there has been much speculation on when exactly the multiple Asian Championships gold medallist will be making his competitive return.

National head coach John Beasley has all but thrown in the towel on the rest of his squad making the cut for the London Olympics next year, with only Azizul and Fatehah Mustapa in line for a spot there via the qualifying procedure.

National track team manager Datuk Naim Mohamad said Azizul will be undergoing a six-week rehabilitation programme at the National Sports Council and National Sports Institute in Bukit Jalil.

"It is a programme to re-strengthen his calf and get him back into peak condition. We have targeted the World University Games in Shenzen, China in August for his return."

Naim added that the rest of Azizul's teammates, apart from Rizal Tisin, returned to Melbourne yesterday to begin the phase of training towards the World Cup season.