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Cyclist Azizul clinches a double in SEA track meet


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang earned his double in the South-East Asian Track Grand Prix by winning the keirin event at the National Velodrome in Nilai.

And to make it sweeter, Azizul beat Thailand’s Jai Angsuthasawit in the men’s elite final race yesterday.

Azizul was beaten by the Australia-born cyclist Angsuthasawit in the keirin event at the Indonesia Asian Games last month.

In the final yesterday, Azizul came out full gas after the derny went out to pass Admadi Puguh of Indonesia and Taiwanese Hsiao Shih-hsin en route to winning his pet race.

Angsuthasawit was boxed in this time and only managed to finish fifth behind Malaysia’s Muhd Shah Firdaus Sahrom.

Azizul, who bagged the sprint gold medal on Wednesday, said it was not his objective to fly back from his training base in Melbourne to settle the score.

“I treat this competition as a warm-up because we are flying off to Paris for the start of the UCI Track World Cup season next week.

“I did not focus on beating him as I have moved on after the Asian Games. I’m just glad to have at least someone on top of the podium in the elite ranks.

“Shah Firdaus or Muhd Fadhil Zonis (who finished sixth) could have ended on the podium in the keirin today but I think both were tired as they just finished the team sprint race.

“I told them that I will go all out in the last two laps and it’s up to them if they want to follow.

“I am happy with where my form is at as I just started training about a week ago,” said Azizul, who is focusing to excel in the Asian Cycling Championships in Indonesia (January) and the World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong (February) next year.

“These events offer the biggest ranking points towards qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. My ultimate goal is to win the first Olympic gold medal for Malaysia,” said the 30-year-old, who won the keirin world title last year and is the reigning National Sportsman of the Year.

Azizulhasni Awang

   

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