KUALA LUMPUR: National track cycling champion Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang(pix) has proven wrong those who predicted that his career would be ruined when he ended his bachelorhood at the age of 22.
These naysayers had said that he would end up with a bloated stomach and loose knees following marriage and that this would put paid to his cycling career.
The 33-year-old silver medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that concluded on Sunday, who tied the knot with Athiah Ilyana Abd Samat, 35, is instead thankful that his career is still thriving and continues to taste various successes to this day.
The saying behind a mans success there is a great woman is absolutely true. I have proven the stigma (about marriage costing an athletes career) does not hold any water. Alhamdulillah (thank God) to this day I am still strong.
People only see my success as the result of hard work in training and so on but in fact the strong support from my wife and family is above all, he said in a post on his Facebook and Instagram today.
Azizulhasni, who has been married to Athiah since 2010, has been blessed with two daughters, Amna Maryam, eight, and Amna Khadeeja, five. The couple are expecting their third child.
Dubbed ‘The Pocket Rocketman’ due to his small size, Azuzulhasni also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his parents, Selamiah Yong and Awang Embong.
He said that his mother willingly had to let him migrate to Kuala Lumpur when he was just 16 years old in order to pursue his ambition to become a national athlete and that the situation caused him to rarely meet them, let alone spend time together like others.
But even in such a situation, Ma (mother) still always gave her support, told me to always train hard and pursue my personal dreams and national mission, he said.
Meanwhile, Azizulhasni, who is affectionately known as ‘Jijoe’, said the spirit of his father, who is a dementia patient and had a stroke, was always with him even though they could rarely meet.
The 2017 world keirin champion said that only Allah SWT could know his feelings as soon as he received news that his father was admitted to hospital due to a stroke just a few days before going to Japan.
At the same time, he also thanked his siblings in Terengganu who took good care of their father and asking him to focus fully on shouldering the country’s challenge at the Izu Velodrome.
In the men’s keirin final last Sunday, reigning champion Jason Kenny of Great Britain won the gold medal to retain his title while Azizulhasni bagged the silver. Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen had to settle for the bronze. -Bernama