Azizulhasni Awang has confirmed that he will miss the world track championships in Apeldoorn. The Malaysian sprinter is still recovering from the horrific calf injury he sustained when he crashed during the final round of the track World Cup in February.
Awang was among the fallers in a chaotic keirin final in Manchester and was forced to undergo surgery to remove a 9-inch splinter from his left calf. Remarkably, Awang got straight back up after the crash and completed the race in third place behind winner Chris Hoy, before realising the precise nature of his injury.
After having the splinter removed in hospital in Manchester, Awang returned to his home in Melbourne to continue his recovery. He was back on the bike for the first time on Tuesday after having his stitches removed, although he limited himself to a ten-minute ride.
“The stitches were removed yesterday,” Awang told bernama.com. “But I haven't done any serious training yet, only light workouts to invigorate myself.”
Awang later clarified via his Twitter account that he will not be lining up in Apeldoorn, in spite of his national federation’s earlier hope that he might be able to recover in time.
The Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) had delayed the team’s departure for the Netherlands by three days until March 18 in a bid to give Awang every opportunity to recuperate. MNCF vice-president Datuk Naim Mohamad also explained to The Star that Awang’s entry had initially been submitted in the hope that would “recover fully by the middle of the month to take part in the championships as Olympic qualifying points are at stake.”
Awang took silver in the keirin in last year’s world championships in Copenhagen, to add to his sprint silver medal from the previous year, and is one of his country's brightest medal hopes for the 2012 London Olympics. In spite of his crash in Manchester, the 23-year-old sealed the overall World Cup standings for the keirin.