Malaysia ends 6-year drought by clinching bronze in cycling championship


KUALA LUMPUR: Azizulhasni Awang, Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom and Mohd Fadhil Zonis ended a six-year drought by taking bronze in the men's elite team sprint event at the Asian Cycling Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

The trio clocked 44.673 to defeat Kazakhstan's Pavel Vorzhev, Maxim Nalyotov and Sergey Ponomaryov (45.472) in the third place play-off at Rawamangun Velodrome.

It was the first medal for Malaysia in the men's elite team sprint discipline. 

Azizul, Shah Firdaus and Fadhil took silver for Malaysia at the Asian Games in Indonesia last August and they qualified third fastest behind Japan and China. 

Arfy Qhairant, Mohd Edrus Yunus and Farhan Amri Zaid were the last Malaysian combination to mount the podium when they took silver in the 2013 edition in New Delhi, India. 

The bronze medal finish is the perfect booster for Azizul and Shah Firdaus when they race in the keirin event today.   

Malaysia earlier clinched silver in the men's junior sprint team through Ahmad Safwan Ahmad Nazeri, Fariz Haikal Mohd Kadir and Mohd Ridwan Sahrom. 

The trio finished second behind India in the qualifying round after clocking 47.153. 

They then managed a faster 46.654 in the final but were forced to settle for second to a powerful India team, featuring world No. 1 junior Esow Esow, Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam and Rojit Singh Yanglem (45.432).