Azizulhasni Awang’s world title at the recent Track Cycling World Championship is a breath of fresh air for us as a nation.
It is an inspiring win for Malaysia, particularly as the road to this great achievement has been steeped in tales of perseverance and comebacks from numerous shortfalls.
The story of Azizulhasni’s win has been a nail biting, yet interesting one to follow. I remember staying up to watch this young man, which I’ve only heard about for the first time, compete in the Keirin final at the 2012 Olympics in London.
At that time, a young Malaysian in an Olympic cycling final was a rare, yet exciting experience not just for me, but for my entire family.
Despite the result, it was nonetheless an event that placed hope in our hearts. The hope turned into fruition 10 years later, last week.
All his hard work, including a severe injury, would result in the birth of a Malaysian World champion, in a sport where physique and size are common ingredients to victory.
I’m sure by now this gentleman from Terengganu has moved on from his victory, and eyeing for the next achievement – possibly that elusive Olympic gold medal. We too must move on, for we are only as good as our last performance.
As a nation we should not just learn from failure, but from the victories of others. A simple question – what can we learn from the decade long story of Azizulhasni?
For me, anything that we fight for is just like a sport. Business, education or any career for that matter, is also about competing for the top spot. Being a champion creates opportunities to create more champions.
For example, imagine how immersive training can be when you race with the best on a daily basis. It’s for this simple reason that sports nations like the US and Australia continue to create champion after champion. Champions are not born, they are created though the perseverance, dedication and commitment of the athlete and their team.
Azizulhasni was trained locally at first, and soon found himself studying sports science in Melbourne’s Victoria University, where he continued training as a professional cyclist. He was trained in local flavour, then shaped to face the world with those who had the experience and expertise. This simply made him improve faster, as learning and training from experts are highly effective routes to success.
Sometimes we say that doing things ourselves in our own backyards, are the most valuable way to success. That’s true to a certain extent, but in a fast paced world, knowledge and expertise are everywhere. We are taught to learn from our forefathers, as they are more experienced than us. In a globalised world, we must learn from the forefathers from around the globe.
In the end, the results will speak for itself.
The books, unfortunately or otherwise, only record the winners. While we aim for the top, we should also read the the chapters that make up the success story of our ventures. To be the best, we must learn and train with the best. After all, success is a journey, not a destination.
My heartiest congratulations to Azizulhasni Awang. May this be an inspiration to our learning nation.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.