Blind cyclist Afiq and his able-bodied pilot Khairul Adha Rasol clocked 1:04.411 to successfully retain the 1km time trial (B) gold medal they won in the 2019 edition of the meet in Jakarta in January this year.
Their time eclipsed the 1:04.416 set by Japanese duo Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi. Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh got the bronze for Malaysia (1:06.574).
“I’m happy to win the gold again but not happy with the time. We were trying to break the Asian record (1:03.249) we set at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last year.
“But it’s still a win and more importantly, gives us ranking points to help the country get a qualifying slot for the Tokyo Paralympics,” said Khairul, who will also be vying for a second gold in the tandem sprint tomorrow.
Azizul, who after barely three weeks of undergoing microsurgery on his right index finger, put up a courageous fight in his pet event to come in second in the elite keirin final.
Azizul was in a fight for survival after he crashed in the first round heat and did not finish. He had to win the repechage or face an early elimination.
And the Pocket Rocketman did just that by beating four other riders to enter the second round.
Azizul and teammate Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom then joined Japan’s Yudai Nitta to qualify for the top-six final from the second round heat.
In the final, Japan’s Yuta Wakimoto burst out of the pack in the last lap. Azizul tried in vain to catch up as the Japanese went on to retain his crown.
Shah Firdaus, the silver medallist in 2019 in Jakarta, finished last.
Azizul had mixed feelings after the race.
“I tried very hard to regain the title as I last won it in 2015 (Korat, Thailand). I had a good race but Wakimoto was just too strong.
“I’m still happy to get a medal and to finish ahead of Nitta, who’s the World Championships silver medallist,” said Azizul.
In the men’s junior keirin event, Ahmad Safwan Ahmad Nazeri failed to make the final.
He won the consolation final instead (7-12th placing) while India’s Ronaldo Laitonjam snatched the gold in the main final.
Eiman Firdaus Zamri was placed seventh in the elite 4km individual pursuit qualifying with a time of 4:39.261.
Sabah-born Waldron Chee ended sixth fastest in the junior 3km individual pursuit (3:28.554).
Waldron thus failed to retain the bronze medal he won in Jakarta.
1km time trial (B) final: 1. Afiq Afify Rizan-Khairul Adha Rasol (Mas) 1:04.411, 2. Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi (Jpn) 1:04.416, 3. Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh (Mas) 1:06.574.
4km individual pursuit finalFor gold: Park Sang-hoon (Kor) 4:22.268 bt Alisher Zhumakan (Kaz) 4:27.368.
For bronze: Min Kyeong-ho (Kor) 4:27.048 bt Cheung Kin Lok (Hkg) 4:27.386.
Keirin final: 1. Yuta Wakimoto (Jpn), 2. Azizulhasni Awang (Mas), 3. Yudai Nitta (Jpn), 4. Jai Angsuthasawit (Tha), 5. Kang Shih-feng (Tpe), 6. Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom.
Keirin final: 1. Ronaldo Laitonjam (Ind), 2. Kang Seo-jun (Kor), 3. Yanglem Rojit Singh (Ind), 4. Alexandr Safarov (Kaz), 5. Shin Ju-young (Kor), 6. Mohd Syawal (Ina).
3km individual pursuit finalFor gold: Eom Se-beom (Kor) 3:17.439 bt Dmitriy Noskov (Kaz) 3:21.067.
For bronze: Li Yukang (Chn) 3:23.476 bt Chang Chih-sheng (Tpe) 3:25.556.
1km time trial (B) final: 1. Noa Yamaguchi-Sakura Yamamoto (Jpn) 1:13.145, 2. Nur Suraya Zamri-Nurul Suhada Zainal (Mas) 1:14.439, 3. Nur Azlia Syafinaz Zais-Noraidillina Adilla J. Sam (Mas) 1:17.257.
3km individual pursuit finalFor gold: Lee Ju-mi (Kor) 3:37.988 bt Leung Bo Yee (Hkg) 3:44.626.
For bronze: Luo Yiwei (Sin) 3:44.320 bt Oh Hyeon-ji (Kor) 3:45.046.
3km individual pursuit finalFor gold: Shin Ji-eun (Kor) 2:25.579 bt Kristina Titovskaya (Kaz) 2:28.056.
For bronze: Chao Song (Chn) 2:31.968 bt Swasti Singh (Ind) 2:38.881.
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