Despite having one of the strongest track sprint squads in the Asia-Pacific, Malaysia look set to qualify only one male track rider for the 2012 London Olympics; current World Cup Keirin Champion Azizul Hasni Awang.
The London Games had been a long-term goal for the highly decorated Melbourne-based Malaysian national team directed by John Beasley, but things have not quite gone to plan recently, and that’s caused a major career re-think by some team members.
With hopes of Olympic start slots evaporating current Asian Keirin Champion Rizal Tisin has 'temporarily' ditched his track program and returned to the BMX track, where he started his cycling career as a teenager.
The 26-year-old had claimed World Championship medals (bronze in the 2009 1km TT), a World Cup win (Beijing 2008-9 1km), Commonwealth Games medals (silver in the 1km and bronze in the team sprint in India 2010) as well as numerous Asian and Southeast Asian Games championship medals in recent years.
But most of Tisin’s hopes were pinned on selection for the 2012 Olympics, which now look to be a non-starter for him, so he has switched his focus to BMX and the hope of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
Earlier this year Tisin took the Asian Championship kierin title and a bronze medal in the team sprint before turning his attentions fully to the BMX track, where he’s hoping to stir up enthusiasm within Malaysia, where the discipline is currently down on a fairly small scale and is heavily under-funded.
He has already been in action in rounds of the national BMX series, and has stuck his neck out and with a part self funded project targeted at a medal in the SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games), which take place in Indonesia during November. Should he, or other team members, come back with medals then it could well gain vital recognition for BMX in Malaysia.