NILAI: There was no double joy for Malaysia as Azizulhasni Awang, wearing the rainbow jersey as the reigning keirin world champion, settled for bronze in his pet race in the Asian Track Championships at the National Velodrome in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
Hopes were high on either Azizul or Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom to deliver another gold for Malaysia in the elite ranks after Jupha Somnet had charged to a surprise win in the women’s points race on Friday.
But both Azizul and Firdaus came up short yesterday.
Azizul sprinted just a little late going into the last bend and finished third behind South Korean Im Chae-bin in the keirin final.
Japan’s Tomoyuki Kawabata, the silver medallist at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, charged down the bend to clinch the gold.
Shah Firdaus, who snatched bronze in last year’s edition in New Delhi, India, finished fourth.
Azizul reached the top-six final in style by winning his second round heat ahead of Kawabata and Kazakhstan’s Pavel Vorzhev.
Shah Firdaus got in from the other second round heat by finishing third behind Chae-bin and China’s Bi Wenjun.
“I feel sad as I was targeting to win the keirin. I always wanted to win in a major competition but I feel relieved to still get a medal,” said Azizul. “It was a good race and a challenging one as the Japanese and South Korean cyclists were on the inside.
“I went full gas with two laps to go and was fighting the South Korean (Chae-bin) but I didn’t expect the Japanese (Tomoyuki) to come out strong. I’m sorry to the fans who came to watch me race. I was worried that there would not be many people coming to support due to the holiday break but they came.
“It’s still a good training for me before the World Track Cycling Championships (in Apeldoorn, Holland) early next month,” said Azizul, who has collected 10 Asian championships gold medals so far.
The 30-year-old cyclist, who last won the keirin title in Korat, Thailand, in 2015, will now aim to defend his sprint title tomorrow.
“I’ll try to go below 10 seconds in the sprint. It’s not easy to do but it’ll be a good preparation for the world championships if I can make the podium again,” added Azizul.
Elite Team sprint
Gold: South Korea (Im Chae-bin, Park Jeo-ne, Son Je-yong) 44.049 bt Japan (Kazunari Watanabe, Tomoyuki Kawabata, Yoshitaku Nagasako) 44.063.
Bronze: China (Luo Yongjia, Bi Wenjun, Li Jianxin) 43.778 bt Kazakhstan (Pavel Vorzhev, Sergey Ponomaryov, Kirill Ruder) 44.432.
Selected (qualifying): 7. Malaysia (Mohd Khairil Nizam Rasol, Shariz Effendi Mohd Shahrin, Mohd Fadhil Zonis) 45.023.
Junior Team sprint
Gold: India (E. Esow, Mayur Pawar, James Singh) 46.070 bt Japan (Ryuken Osada, Hidenosuke Matsumoto, Kotaro Kurose) 46.125.
Bronze: Malaysia (Muhd Ridwan Sahrom, Amar Danial Masri, Fariz Haikal Mohamad Kadir) 47.149 bt South Korea (Moon Shinjun-seo, Yoo Sang-hyuk, Han Dong-hyeon) 47.359.
Elite Keirin: 1. Tomoyuki Kawabata (Jpn), 2. Im Chae-bin (Kor), 3. Azizulhasni Awang (Mas), 4. Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Mas), 5. Bi Wenjun (Chn), 6. Pavel Vorzhev (Kaz).
Scratch: 1. Guo Liang (Chn), 2. Arvin Moazami (Iri), 3. Batsaikhan Tegshbayar (Mgl). Selected: 9. Irwandie Lakasek (Mas).
Junior Keirin: 1. Esow Esow (Ind), 2. Moon Shinjun-seo (Kor), 3. Matsumoto Hidenosuke (Jpn), 4. Pawar Mayur (Ind), 5. Phaksriwong Chiraphong (Tha), 6. Osada Ryuken (Jpn).
Scratch: 1. Wachirawit Saenkhamwong (Tha), 2. Huang Chien-chang (Tpe), 3. Ishii Hiroki (Jpn). Selected: 7. Abdul Rashid Hisham (Mas).
Elite Team sprint
Gold: China (Zhong Tianshi, Song Chaorui) 32.817 bt South Korea (Lee Hye-jin, Kim Wongyeong) 33.342.
Bronze: Japan (Ohta Riyu, Maeda Kayono) 33.785 bt Hong Kong (Lee Wai Sze, Jessica Lee) 34.004.
Selected (qualifying): 5. Malaysia (Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan, Anis Amira Rosidi) 34.728.
Points race final: 1. Jupha Somnet (Mas) 35, 2. Diao Xiaojuan (Hkg) 25, 3. Xin Zeng (Tpe) 21.
Junior Team sprint
Gold: China (Hu Jiafang, Lei Min) 34.789 bt Japan (Ana Iwamoto, Masuda Setsuka) 35.908.
Bronze: Taiwan (Wang Ling-hsuan, Chen Ching-yu) 37.482 bt Kazakhstan (Shapovalova Anastassiya, Abramchuk Alyona) 37.570. Selected (qualifying): 7. Malaysia (Ilias Naziatul Azzua, Nurul Nazirah Mohd Rosli) 37.638.
Points race final: 1. Shin Jie-un (Kor) 21, 2. Ng Sze Wing (Hkg) 18, 3. Chinchakhandi Danamma (Ind) 7. Selected: 9. Nur Alya Muhd Azli (Mas)
Omnium: 1. Ishigami Yuno (Jpn) 135, 2. Kim Nayeou (Kor) 128, 3. Vivien Chu (Hkg) 126. Selected: 6. Norzali Nurqadrina Emylia (Mas) 100.
Elite 4km team pursuit
Gold: Japan 4:22.138 China 4:27.096. For bronze: South Korea overlapped Hong Kong. Junior 4km team pursuit Gold: South Korea overlapped Japan.
Bronze: Hong Kong overlapped Kazakhstan.
500m time trial: 1. Hu Jiafang (Chn) 35.082, 2. Shapovalova Anastassiya (Kaz) 36.274, 3. Kim Ha-eun (Kor) 36.376.
C1-C3 3km individual pursuit
Gold: Shota Kawamoto (Jpn) overlapped Shukor Farhan Suliman (Mas).
Bronze: Mohd Yusof Hafizi Shaharuddin (Mas) 4:07.256 Muhd Adi Ramie Amizazahan (Mas) 4:12.244.
C4-C5 3km individual pursuit
Gold: Mehdi Mohammad (Iri) 5:00.437 Mohd Najib Turano (Mas) 5:09.302.
Bronze: Muhd Fadli Immamuddin (Ina) 5:10.013 Ahmad Tarmizi Zuhairi (Mas) 5:12.117. Sprint (B)
Gold: Afiq Afify Rizan-Khairul Adha Rasol (Mas) bt Ahmad Bajuri Aiman Asyraff-Mohd Faizal Mohd Noh (Mas) 2-0.
Bronze: Mohd Khairul Nizam-Mohd Firdaus Zonis (Mas) bt Muhd Amin Najmi Romzi-Mohd Shahrul Nizam (Mas) 2-0.
C3 3km individual pursuit
Gold: Keiko Noguchi (Jpn) overlapped Nur Faizah Aziz (Mas).
C3 500m time trial: 1. Keiko Noguchi (Jpn) 44.061, 2. Nur Faizah Aziz (Mas) 56.276.
Gold: Nur Azlia Syafinaz-Noraidillina Adilla (Mas) bt Nur Syahida Tajudin-Nurul Suhada Zainal (Mas) 2-0.