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Yayasan Sime Darby’s Track Cycling Duo Make a Comeback Despite Sports Injuries

 

YSD Chairman YABhg Tun Musa Hitam (centre) sharing a light moment during the press conference held this morning at Sama-Sama Hotel, KLIA, to announce Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (second from left) and Fatehah Mustapa’s (second from right) participation in the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics in track cycling. Looking on from far left is YSD CEO Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin and national cycling coach, John Beasley from the far right. 

Kuala Lumpur, 8 March 2016 - The philosophical saying “fall down seven times, stand up eight” aptly describes Yayasan Sime Darby’s (YSD) national track cyclists Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa. Both suffered serious sports injuries just before the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge, New Zealand last December 2015 but despite the odds, pulled through to qualify for the Rio Olympics 2016.

Azizul had to withdraw from the UCI championship after falling ill due to a flu virus coupled with a thigh muscle tear from an accident during his fitness training while Fatehah sustained a back injury two days before the World Cup meet. However, Fatehah did not allow her back injury to get in the way and managed to finish, securing 13th spot for keirin and 25th in sprint during the event.

Within a month of the major setbacks, both made powerful comebacks in January at the Asian Cycling Championship (ACC) in Japan. Azizul won two bronzes in the sprint and keirin and Fatehah won silver in the final round of the Women’s Elite in Japan.

Last Sunday, Azizul made it to the podium with a brilliant bronze finish in the keirin event at the Track Cycling World Championships in London. These significant achievements have successfully earned our national track cyclists their rightful spots to compete in the upcoming Rio Olympics 2016 in August.

YSD, the philanthropic arm of Sime Darby Berhad extended its support to Azizul and Fatehah under the “Road to Rio 2016: Sime Darby Foundation Track Cycling Team” as a mission to realise the nation’s dream of bringing home an Olympic medal for track cycling. The sponsorship of RM2.85 million from February 2013 to August 2016 covers the yearly registration fee to ‘Union Cycliste Internationale’ (UCI) and entrance fees for international competitions, flight tickets, travelling expenses, racing attire, players’ salaries and living expenses. YSD also funded the duo during the London Olympics 2012.

Present at a press conference after arriving home from London, Azizul, who is also a recipient of the YSD STAR scholarship programme for his degree in Exercise Science and Human Movement at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, was in high spirits and confident of putting Malaysia’s name on the world map again.

“I have come a long way to be where I am today. Since the last Olympics in 2012, I have yearned to be at the top spot and now I can see that I am inching closer to my dreams. I would like to thank my coach, John Beasley for his unrelenting support and constant push for me to go beyond, for the love of this sport and my country.

“As for my main sponsor, Yayasan Sime Darby, who have been with me throughout my journey over the past six years, without your faith and backing, I would not have been able to participate in many of the competitions that would qualify me for the Olympics. You have realised my dream, and I vow to make Malaysia proud and not let you down, God willing.”
Azizul was also honoured with a Full Blue Award in last November for his sporting achievements from the leading sports science university in Australia, Victoria University, making him the first non-Australian to be given such a recognition.

Fatehah Mustapa, Malaysia’s velodrome darling, on the other hand is optimistic of her chances in the women’s sprint in the upcoming Olympics having bagged a silver medal during the ACC in Japan.

“Having won the silver during the ACC against world class riders came as a pleasant surprise to me. The Chinese and Hong Kong riders have all won during the World Cup and the Olympics, and for me to beat them at the championship certainly gave a boost to my confidence. Although I did not make it for keirin, I am determined to give my best shot in the sprint event and bring home a medal.

“I would also like to thank my main sponsor Yayasan Sime Darby, my coach John Beasley, and everyone who never gave up on me. It has been tough with my back injury and the rigorous training, but this is my sacrifice for the country and I hope to make all of us proud,” said Fatehah, who has a stellar record of always contributing a medal since her debut in the junior ranks of the Asian meet in 2007.

YSD chairman YABhg Tun Musa Hitam expressed hope that the star athletes would go all the way and win a gold medal this time.

“This is our second time in the Olympics for track cycling since 2012. Yayasan Sime Darby is extremely proud to have had the opportunity to support these two dedicated athletes all these years. And we have confidence that Azizul and Fatehah have it in them to break the medal drought and come home champions this round. The entire nation is rooting for them with us!” Tun Musa added.

YSD’s support for the “Road to Rio 2016: Sime Darby Foundation Track Cycling Team” under the Youth and Sports pillar is in line with the Foundation’s aim to develop sports talents towards world-class performance and ultimately raising the standard of sports including track cycling. YSD’s support is also aligned with the national agenda to bring home its first Olympic medal for track cycling.

In 2010, YSD funded the “YSD Track Cycling Team-Quest for Malaysia’s Olympic Cycling Medal” programme with a sponsorship of RM2 million over three years. Out of the seven riders sponsored by YSD, Azizul and Fatehah were the only ones who qualified for the London Olympics 2012, with Azizul making it to the final round of the Keirin event.

Youth & Sports, one of the pillars under YSD’s philanthropic initiatives supports programmes that promote the all-round development of youths to enable them to become trustworthy, conscientious and productive members of society. To this end, YSD makes available the resources at its disposal to promote sporting activities to help youths realise their full potentials; develop sports; cultivate sportsmanship within the community and raise the standards of sports.



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Last Updated:
28 Nov 2017
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