Para cyclist overcomes Japan’s strong challenge to snatch gold


  • Cycling
  • Monday, 21 Oct 2019

A class above: Afiq Afify Rizan (third from right) and Khairul Adha Rasol posing with Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi of Japan (left) and teammates Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: It was double joy for para cyclist Afiq Afify Rizan while Azizulhasni Awang and Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom will mount a twin attack for the men’s elite sprint gold at the Asian Track Cycling Championships in Jincheon, South Korea.

Blind cyclist Afiq and his able-bodied pilot Khairul Adha Rasol were given a fight all the way by Japanese duo Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi before snatching the men’s tandem sprint (B) gold medal.

Their Japanese rivals forced a third heat but Khairul-Adha still had the energy in reserve to win the decider.

It was the second gold medal for Khairul-Adha after winning the men’s 1km time trial (B) event on Friday.

Khairul-Adha earlier defeated another Malaysian pair Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh in two heats in the semi-finals.

“We expected to win in two heats. But the Japanese pair surprised us by pulling away early in the second heat. We did not want to make the mistake again.

“It’s a good boost to beat the Japanese to retain our title, especially as the Asian championships is for us to get ranking points for the country for the Tokyo Paralympics next year, ” said the 23-year-old.

It was the second gold for Malaysia from the para cyclists as Nur Suraiya Zamri-Nurul Suhada Zainal were declared the winners of the women’s tandem sprint (B) event as their opponents Noa Yamaguchi-Sakura Yamamoto (Jpn) were unable to race in the final following an earlier collision.

Malaysia’s Nur Azlia Syafinaz Zais-Noraidillina Adilla J. Sam moved into the path of the Japanese pair and both tandem bikes went down as a result.

The Malaysians were later relegated.

Azizul remained firmly on course to defend the men’s elite sprint title after he defeated world No. 1 junior cyclist Esow Esow of India in two heats to reach the semi-finals.

Shah Firdaus also advanced to the medal rounds in style by beating China’s top sprinter Xu Chao in two heats in the quarter-finals.

Azizul defeated Taiwan’s Kang Shih-feng while Shah Firdaus brushed aside Thailand’s Asian Games keirin champion Jai Angsuthasawit in the last 16.

Azizul and Shah Firdaus placed fourth (9.977) and sixth (10.159) in the qualifying rounds earlier.

There is also hope for a medal in the junior men’s sprint after Ahmad Safwan Ahmad Nazeri reached the semi-finals.

Ahmad Safwan overcame Han Pengjie of China in two quarter-final heats.

RESULTS

Men’s elite

Tandem sprint (B): 1. Afiq Afify Rizan-Khairul Adha Rasol (Mas), 2. Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi (Jpn), 3. Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh (Mas).

Points race: 1. Kim Eu-ro (Kor) 35,2. Bernard Benyamin (Ina) 23,3. Roman Vassilenkov (Kaz) 19. Selected: 10. Mohd Hakimi Nor (Mas) 1.

Women’s elite

Sprint: 1. Lee Wai Sze (Hkg), 2. Zhong Tianshi (Chn), 3. Yuka Kobayashi (Jpn).

Tandem sprint (B): 1. Nur Suraiya Zamri-Nurul Suhada Zainal (Mas), 2. Noa Yamaguchi-Sakura Yamamoto (Jpn), 3. Shin Hyun-jung-Jung Eden (Kor).

Points race: 1. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) 55,2. Na Ah-reum (Kor) 34,3. Leung Bo Yee (Hkg) 26. Selected: 7. Jupha Som Net (Mas) 8.

Women’s junior

Sprint: 1. Qi Lei (Chn), 2. Fang Bingbing (Chn), 3. Paul Triyasha (Ind).

Men’s elite

Tandem sprint (B): 1. Afiq Afify Rizan-Khairul Adha Rasol (Mas), 2. Kazuhei Kimura-Takuto Kurabayashi (Jpn), 3. Khairul Hazwan Wahab-Mohd Faizal Noh (Mas).

Points race: 1. Kim Eu-ro (Kor) 35,2. Bernard Benyamin (Ina) 23,3. Roman Vassilenkov (Kaz) 19. Selected: 10. Mohd Hakimi Nor (Mas) 1.

Women’s elite

Sprint: 1. Lee Wai Sze (Hkg), 2. Zhong Tianshi (Chn), 3. Yuka Kobayashi (Jpn).

Tandem sprint (B): 1. Nur Suraiya Zamri-Nurul Suhada Zainal (Mas), 2. Noa Yamaguchi-Sakura Yamamoto (Jpn), 3. Shin Hyun-jung-Jung Eden (Kor).

Points race: 1. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) 55,2. Na Ah-reum (Kor) 34,3. Leung Bo Yee (Hkg) 26. Selected: 7. Jupha Som Net (Mas) 8.

Women’s junior

Sprint: 1. Qi Lei (Chn), 2. Fang Bingbing (Chn), 3. Paul Triyasha (Ind).

RESULTS


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