Azizulhasni has proven yet again that he is the Asian King of Keirin, winning gold at last night’s ACC Championships, here, at the National Velodrome.
NILAI — National track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang today repeated his double-gold feat achievement at the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) 15 years ago, when he won the men’s keirin gold after overcoming a strong challenge from the Japanese.
His win yesterday gave Azizulhasni his 12th gold at ACC, a personal record, apart from ending his eight-year wait to be reinstalled as the Asian King of Keirin, an honour he last won in the 2015 edition of the championships, in Nakhon Ratchamisa, Thailand.
The Pocket Rocketman pocketed his 11th ACC gold last Friday, when he beat Jakarta Nations Cup silver medalist Kaiya Ota of Japan 2-0 (9.924s, 9.828s) in the men’s elite sprint final.
Another national cyclist, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom, took the bronze medal, miraculously winning third place, even after suffering an accident in the semi-finals.
The silver went to Shinji Nakano, the UCI Nations Cup champion, while defending champion Kohel Terasaki finished fourth.
Speaking with reporters after the race, Azizulhasni, who underwent an open heart surgery in April last year, said that it had not been easy to repeat his ACC success due to increased competition from Asian cyclists.
“It wasn’t a good draw to be placed seventh in the final, yet I remained focused and continued to move forward when the race began as I knew I would face stiff competition from the Japanese.
“I remained in the front pack, and there wasn’t anyone who wanted to take the lead , so when I entered the last lap, I immediately accelerated till the finish line to ensure I was the first across.
“This might be the last ACC for me…and I hope to maintain my performance, increase it a little bit before the World Championsips in another five weeks.” he said. — Bernama