Pocket Rocketman Azizul wins keirin silver at UCI Track World Cup


Azizulhasni Awang (left) took silver behind reigning world champion Matthijs Buchli of Holland (centre) in the keirin final at the UCI Track World Cup in London. Theo Bos of Holland (right) took third place.

Azizulhasni Awang (left) took silver behind reigning world champion Matthijs Buchli of Holland (centre) in the keirin final at the UCI Track World Cup in London. Theo Bos of Holland (right) took third place.

PETALING JAYA: Azizulhasni Awang continues to impress at the highest level of track cycling.

Just days after he was crowned men's Olympian of the Year by the Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM), Azizul sprinted his way to the silver medal in the keirin race at the UCI Track World Cup in London.

Azizul, the Indonesia Asian Games sprint champion in August, finished the final on Saturday night (Dec 15) in second spot behind reigning world champion Matthijs Buchli of the Netherlands.

Dutchman Theo Bos took third place.

Azizul ended his seven-year-drought at the World Cup stage with a bronze in the previous round in Berlin, Germany two weeks ago.

The 30-year-old Rio Olympic bronze medallist reached the top-six final at the World Cup stage for the first time this season after he won his second round heat.

Azizul progressed to the second round the hard way after winning his first round repechage involving four other cyclists.

(Repechage is a system in series competitions that gives a second chance to participants who narrowly failed to meet qualifying standards to compete again in a similar way as a wild card system.)

The back-to-back podium feat is a boost to Azizul's confidence after he was eliminated early in the first two rounds in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France and Milton, Canada last month.