Azizulhasni scores motivating wins ahead of Japan race

Azizulhasni scores motivating wins ahead of Japan race

NILAI: National track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang showed that he was in a class of his own by winning gold in both the sprint and keirin events at the ASEAN Track Series race at the Malaysian National Velodrome here tonight.

This was the first competitive race for the 2017 world keirin champion since winning bronze in keirin at the 2024 Australian National Championships in early March and served as the perfect motivation for his training and competition in Japan this month.

In today’s race, Mohd Azizulhasni, nicknamed The Pocket Rocketman, grabbed his first gold through the sprint event by beating fellow national rider Muhammad Ridwan Sahrom in the final.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics keirin silver medallist clinched his second gold by dominating the keirin final, leaving national cyclist Ahmad Safwan Ahmad Nazeri and Indonesia’s Dika Alif Dhentaka in second and third places respectively.

“Today, I took to the race like a training day because on Monday (May 6) we are going to Japan for two championships there. The real competition is there, with many challengers, including Japanese and Australian cyclists.

“Good to see my timing in the last 200 metres where I managed to clock 9.8 seconds although not in the best condition and not in (full) race equipment. John (Beasley, national head coach) is also happy with my timing,” he said after the race.

Mohd Azizulhasni said that in Japan he would also continue more intensive training before returning home to prepare for the National Track Cycling Championships here from May 20 to 24.

Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, young national track cycling star Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri powered her way to gold in both sprint and keirin.

The 20-year-old, who will be making her Olympics debut in July, easily beat fellow national rider Nurul Aliana Syafika Azizan in the sprint final and maintained her excellent form in the keirin final for her second gold.

“Overall my performance was okay but I want to further improve on minor aspects concerning technique and tactic. Today, I went full gas because I cannot afford to be in the comfort zone,” she said.

Mohd Azizulhasni, Nurul Izzah and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom are the three national track cyclists who have qualified for the Paris Olympics in July.

The ASEAN Track Series race continues here tomorrow.


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