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National cyclists taking cautious approach in preparing for Tokyo

CYCLISTS Azizulhasni Awang and Shah Firdaus Sahrom will take a more cautious approach in fine tuning their preparations prior to the Tokyo Olympics on July 23-Aug 8.

Under normal circumstances, the Track Cycling Nations Cup — formerly known as the World Cup series — is often used by riders to sharpen their racing skills prior to the Olympics.

The opening leg this year will be hosted by Wales on April 22-25 followed by the second round in Hong Kong (May 13-15) and the final leg in Colombia (June 3-6).

But with no signs of the Covid-19 abating, national track cycling head coach John Beasley said he prefers to limit their travelling before the Olympics.

The national elite squad are based in Melbourne.

“It’s just too big of a risk (to travel abroad), especially as the Olympics will be only weeks away by then,” said Beasley.

“Covid-19 risks will likely remain as they are and it is not worth taking that chance.

“And there is also the quarantine process which you have to comply with in certain countries.

“But if the borders remain open, then we might be able to go around Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia before the Olympics.

“Rest assured we will have the boys ready (for the Olympics) either way.”

If they choose to travel and compete in the Nations Cup, returning to Melbourne will be an issue for Azizul and Shah as Australia has shut its borders to foreigners.

Australia and New Zealand, however, plan to have a “‘travel bubble” between the two countries within the first quarter of this year.

Source: New Straits Times
Photo: freemalaysiatoday.com

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