Ramadan sets extra test for Muslim athletes at London Olympics
When Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang opted to postpone his Ramadan fast until after the London Games, the decision was all about going for Olympic gold.
Anything that might jeopardise the chance of a medal for the 24-year-old at his second Olympics had to be dealt with sensibly, he says. And going without food and drink between sunrise and sunset every day for four weeks is just too risky.
“We need to train, we need food, fluids, water,” he told Reuters during a training session at a velodrome in Melbourne with team mate Fatehah Mustapa, who will become the first Malaysian woman cyclist to ride at an Olympics.
“We’ve trained really, really hard … to strive for the gold medal, so we’re not going to waste it. This Olympics is really important for me and Fatehah. You think we’re going to sacrifice that?”
The coincidence of Ramadan this year with the London Olympics, which starts on July 27, a week into the month-long Muslim fast, has thrown up a dilemma for the estimated 3,000 Muslim athletes expected to compete.