KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Young women’s track cycling star Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri has set a target of breaking the national record in the 500 metre time trial in her debut appearance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is scheduled to open in Birmingham on July 28.
The 19-year-old athlete said her target was to dip under 35 seconds to break the national record held by the former queen of national track cycling, Fatehah Mustapa.
Fatehah set the national record of 34.542 secs at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Nurul Izzah explained that it was her big dream for Birmingham after recording a time of 34.668s at the National Track Championship in December last year.
“I hope I can achieve it (a new national record) at the (Commonwealth) Games. I am not aiming for a medal there, it is enough if I can break the national record,” she told Bernama when contacted.
Nurul Izzah, who hails from Sungai Petani, said she is currently training at the National Velodrome in Nilai under the guidance of national track cycling coach John Beasley.
“Right now I commute there for sessions at the velodrome to improve as well as improve my cycling techniques under Beasley,” she said.
Nurul Izzah, who has been called ‘the female version of Azizulhasni Awang’, also expressed her determination and readiness to bear the country’s hopes to showcase cycling excellence at the Games.
“I’m a bit nervous but that’s great motivation for me because everyone has pinned their hopes on me,” she said.
On June 19, Nurul Izzah made her name as the first Malaysian woman rider to win a gold medal at the Asian Track Cycling Championships in New Delhi when she topped the 500 m time trial event with a time of 35.499s.
Nurul Izzah also added to her personal medal collection when she won a bronze medal in the women’s keirin event at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome.