The heat is on for Malaysian athletes and para-athletes as they prep to compete at the prestigious Olympics in Tokyo soon.
For local Keirin champ, Azizulhasni Awang, he may have just received the best motivational boost any athlete could ask for prior to games.
According to The Star, the Terengganu native currently leads the world ranking with 2,560 points. Yudai Nitta of Japan comes in second with 2,551 points and Frenchman Sebastien Vigier ranked third with 2,347.5 points.
Another fellow Malaysian, Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom, also made the rankings at 32nd
place with 1,237 points.
“It’s a big honour for myself and country to be ranked world No. 1 in an Olympic year,” Azizul told the English daily.
“I’m proud to get the recognition for the hard work I put in training and competitions. I’m not sure how long it will last but hopefully, I have the results to keep the status.”
This is his third time earning the top spot after achieving it in 2010 and 2016.
Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq, also congratulated the world champion on his new ranking.
Before appearing for the Olympics, the 32-year-old cyclist will compete at the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin, Germany from 26 February to 1 March 2020.
Congratulations Azizulhasni Awang on the world ranking! We wish you all the best for the world championships and may you bring home the gold.