PETALING JAYA: There’s plenty more to come from Azizulhasni Awang and Anis Amira Rosidi after the duo gave Malaysia a pleasant Merdeka Day present with classy wins in the China Track Cup 1 at the Laoshan Velodrome in Beijing.
Azizul rode to a rare double in the men’s elite sprint and keirin at the track where he made his Olympic debut back in 2008 at the same venue.
Azizul, who has since gone to win two Asian Games titles in keirin (2010) and sprint (2018), beat Andrey Chugay of Kazakhstan in two heats in the sprint final.
Zhou Yu of China denied Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom the bronze medal by beating the Malaysian in two heats.
Terengganu-born Azizul then avenged his defeat to Kang Shih-feng in the keirin event at the South East Asia Track Championships in Nilai last week by finishing ahead of the Taiwanese for his second gold medal.
Malaysia’s Mohd Fadhil Zonis took the bronze.
Azizul, who had just come off four weeks of heavy gym training sessions in Europe to build up muscle mass, did not expect to pull off the double.
He said it would surely boost his preparation for the Asian Cycling Championships in South Korea next month.
“It’s part of my practice (competing in China) and I did not ride at full capacity as I was scared of getting injured, especially with the Asian championships just one month away, ” said Azizul, who dedicated the wins to Malaysian sports fans.
“I am pleased with where I am at, as I have not started doing speed work.
“More importantly, I gained enough points with my wins to qualify for the Track World Cup end of this year. We will try to bring more glory for the nation as we continue to improve, ” said Azizul.
Meanwhile, Anis showed she is the future of Malaysia’s women sprinting by winning the women’s elite keirin final on Friday night.
The 20-year-old Anis, who is the only woman track cyclist training under head coach John Beasley in Melbourne, Australia, early this year, swept past Ohta Riyu of Japan to win the keirin final race.
Cristmonita Dwi Putri of Indonesia, a double gold medallist in keirin and sprint at the South East Asia Track Championships last week, took the bronze medal.
Former world championships silver medallist Lin Junhong beat her Chinese teammate and reigning team sprint Olympic champion Zhong Tianshi to win the women’s elite sprint gold medal.
Perlis-born Anis finished sixth in the sprint event.
“I’m happy to win this gold medal, it’s a gift to our nation as we celebrate our 62nd Independence Day, ” said Anis.
“This is my second keirin win in a UCI Class 1 competition (after the Taiwan Track Cup in May), so I hope I can have enough points to qualify for the Track World Cup after this, ” she added.
Final: Azizulhasni Awang (Mas) bt Andrey Chugay (Kaz) 2-0.
Bronze playoff: Zhou Yu (Chn) bt Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom (Mas) 2-0.
Elite keirin: 1. Azizulhasni Awang (Mas), 2. Kang Shih-feng (Tpe), 3. Mohd Fadhil Zonis (Mas).
Final: Lin Junhong (Chn) bt Zhong Tianshi (Chn) 2-1.
Bronze playoff: Ohta Riyu (Chn) bt Chrismonita Dwi Putri (Ina) 2-0.
Elite keirin: 1. Anis Amira Rosidi (Mas), 2. Ohta Riyu (Jpn), 3. Crismonita Dwi Putri (Ina).
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