Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Group (“CIMB”) today announced its four-year sponsorship of national track cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa as anchor members of the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team. The new track team is set to initiate at the start of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) 2017-18 season in April, with the goal of delivering Malaysia’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2020.

Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group said, “We are thrilled to have Azizul and Fatehah as our newest ambassadors. Both world-class athletes will anchor our very own UCI track team, under the stewardship of renowned coach and technical director, John Beasley. CIMB’s goal over the next four years is to not only help develop talent, but also deliver Malaysia’s first Olympic gold medal.”

(L-R): Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group; CIMB Pro-Cycling Team members Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa, Siti Nur Alia Mansor, Muhammad Khalid Nasiruddin; and John Beasley, team coach and technical director, at the announcement of CIMB’s four-year sponsorship of the team on 15 February. The CIMB Pro-Cycling Team will be anchored by Olympians Azizulhasni and Fatehah in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and is part of CIMB’s efforts to nurture talent in various sports across ASEAN.

“CIMB has always been at the forefront of nurturing talent across ASEAN, through our various programmes on squash, golf, football and even paralympics. Cycling is growing in popularity worldwide, and with CIMB’s foray into the sport we hope to nurture champions by  providing a platform for talents to fulfill their innate potential,” added Tengku  Zafrul.

Azizulhasni Awang, also known as “the Pocket Rocketman” due to his modest build is currently #1 in the UCI World Rankings in Keirin. Azizulhasni became the first Asian cyclist to win a World Championship medal in 2009 when he won silver in Sprint. Winning silver in Keirin the following year, he was named Malaysian Sportsman of the Year for 2009 and 2010. He also clinched Malaysia’s first Olympics cycling medal with a bronze in the Keirin final at Rio 2016.

“I’m excited about the partnership with CIMB and this new track team. CIMB is a brand that is progressive and known for taking things to the next level, and that is exactly what the team aims to do. I look forward to a successful partnership with CIMB,” said Azizulhasni.

The Olympian’s season has been off to a good start with a recent Sprint gold at the Asian Cycling Championships in New Delhi. The 29-year old has qualified for the World Championship in Hong Kong in April, where he hopes to clinch his first world title.

Also leading the track team is World Championship finalist and two-time Asian champion Fatehah Mustapa. The 27-year old was ranked 15th at the London 2012 Olympics and secured gold in Keirin and Sprint at the 2012 and 2013 Asian Championships, respectively.

“The partnership with CIMB means a lot to me and I’m truly excited by the prospect of training with my UCI track team to up our game for regional and international championships, and also raise the profile of cycling as a sport in Malaysia,” said Fatehah.

The other two members of the track team consist of Terengganu junior track cyclists Siti Nur Alia Mansor and Muhammad Khalid Nasiruddin, aged 15 and 17, respectively. The team will be based in Melbourne under the stewardship of John Beasley.