As published in Mailsport
By Wan Noriza Meor Idris
KUALA LUMPUR — National cycling coach John Beasley has got his wish. Kamarul Aizad Othman, the special officer to Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) president Datuk Abu Samah Abd Wahab, will no longer handle team matters. Beasley said he would never forgive Aizad, who nearly caused the team to miss the Asian Cycling Championships in Korat, Thailand recently.
Aizad messed up the flight tickets and hotel bookings which resulted in the team taking a later flight and staying in a hotel more than 20km from the championship venue.
Despite these problems, Azizulhasni Awang still won the Keirin event. It was his ninth gold medal in the history of the championship — three as a junior (2006 — sprint, 1km and Keirin), three Keirin titles (2007, 2008, 2015), two individual sprint crowns (2008, 2009) and one team sprint victory (2009).
He broke the record he shared with South Korea's Jang Sun-jae (eight golds) to be the most successful Asian cyclist.
"I'm glad MNCF and NSC (National Sports Council) finally heard my pleas. I don't want this kind of person (Aizad) involved with me or my team," said Beasley, who revealed this was not the first time Aizad had messed up travel arrangements.
"He has done a lot of damage. We want cycling to bloom but he wasn't helping. "I will never ever forgive him. He made my team suffer. They are representing the country and don't deserve this." He was speaking after a five-hour meeting with NSC director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Abu Samah and MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad. It was decided Mohd Izham Mohamad, a sports performance team leader in National Sports Institute, will now assist Beasley. Beasley revealed MNCF agreed to reimburse him RM21,000 he paid for travelling and accommodation at previous events.
"They didn't state any specific date but it's a happy ending for me," he said.
Shapawi said miscommunication was the main problem.
"We solved everything. We will make sure it won't repeat for the sake of our athletes," he said.
Shapawi also confirmed former cyclist Josiah Ng declined to be team manager for the Rio 2016 Olympics.