Cyclist Muhammad Fadhil Ends Malaysia’s 11-Year Drought With Outstanding Gold Medal
BY: Michelle Liew
National cyclist Muhammad Fadhil Mohd Zonis ended his staggering seven-year wait to make a name for himself after topping the 1-kilometre (km) individual time trial (ITT) event at the 2023 Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) today.
The 25-year-old clocked a record of 1.559 seconds in the final at the National Velodrome, thus ending Malaysia's drought of more than a decade for the title, which ended with Mohd Edrus Yunus' success in the 2012 edition at the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome, Cheras.
The silver and bronze medals went to Ronaldo Laitonjam (1:00.863s) from India and Choi Woorim (1:01.541s) from South Korea.
Muhammad Fadhil, who made his ACC debut since joining the elite squad in 2016, dedicated the success to his late father, Mohd Zonis Mokhtar in conjunction with Father's Day.
"I was quite emotional after winning, remembering my late father who died in 2019 and my brother who met with an accident. My father has been the pillar of my career development, and I have wanted to win this medal for him for a long time. which is finally achieved now.
"When he was sick, I was in Melbourne a lot for training, I was unable to be with him. I also remember his message jsut few days before his passing, he asked me to continue the training camp to Germany even though he already knew his time was limited," he stated.
Muhammad Fadhil, who had to settle for a silver medal in the 2020 edition in Jincheon, South Korea and 2022 in New Delhi, India, said he also took inspiration from his two senior riders, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who each won the gold and bronze medal for keirin yesterday.
We congratulate Muhammad Fadhil for his stellar performance.