Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rizal ready to face big guns

RIZAL Tisin swings into action at the IG Sports Complex velodrome with two targets today -- winning a medal in the 1km time trial and a new personal best. Rizal, despite keen competition expected from cyclists from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, believes that a medal is within his reach.

Another reason for Rizal, who became the first Malaysian to win a medal at the World Championships when he earned a 1km time trial bronze in Poland last year, to sizzle in Delhi is that the Commonwealth Games are being held just about a year after his career was nearly ended by a hit-and-run accident.

"Winning a medal will be tough but not impossible," said Rizal, who will be making his second appearance in the Games after debuting in Melbourne four years ago.

Malaysia's only previous cycling medal was a silver through Shahrulneeza Razali in the road race in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

The national squad, however, are targeting two medals in Delhi through Rizal and Azizul Hasni Awang.

"What I am sure of is that I will be aiming for a national record, which if I can attain, should put me in a good position for a medal," Rizal added.

"The cyclists from Australia, New Zealand and Canada will be tough but if I remain focused, then I have a chance."

Rizal's 1km national record is 1:01.658 which he set en route to the World Championships bronze. His pedigree in the 1km time trial is unquestioned as he was the Asian champion in 2007 and won the UCI World Cup event gold in Beijing in 2008.

Azizul swings into action tomorrow with the kerin final scheduled for 5.40pm Malaysian time.

Read more: NST

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