National cycling champion Azizulhasni Awang won his second gold after emerging victorious in his pet event, keirin, by defeating Asian Games gold medallist Jai Angsuthasawit of Thailand in the final at the 2018 Southeast Asian Grand Prix Track Cycling Championship at the National Velodrome in Nilai earlier today (Thursday). BERNAMA photo

KUALA LUMPUR: National cycling champion Azizulhasni Awang won his second gold after emerging victorious in his pet event, keirin, by defeating Asian Games gold medallist Jai Angsuthasawit of Thailand in the final at the 2018 Southeast Asian Grand Prix Track Cycling Championship at the National Velodrome in Nilai earlier today (Thursday).

Azizulhasni, who is popularly known as ‘The Pocket Rocketman’, had yesterday (Wednesday) won the sprint event when he out cycled Indonesia’s Admadi Puguh in the final to pick up his first gold.

Even though Azizulhasni won gold in both the sprint and keirin events, he sees his achievements at the championships this time round as something normal and a warm up, which is also preparation for him in facing the bigger challenge of more championship to come in the future.

It is understood that Azizulhasni will lead the charge for five national cyclists that include Shah Firdaus Sahrom, Muhammad Fadhil Zonis, Farina Shawati Mohd Adnan and Anis Amira Risidi who will leave for Europe to take part in a few World Cup Track Cycling Championships which begin in France on October 19 (Friday).

"I do not see the win over Jai Angsuthasawit as exacting revenge for the Asian Games that only just took place a few months ago because it is well known that the loss in Indonesia was because I was squeezed aside by the Thai rider, though I do not have any hard feelings or even wanted any vengeance despite losing out on the gold to him.

"In fact, after I won just now and the race had ended, we managed to talk, from one cyclist to another with no animosity whatsoever. Racing is part of our career as professional cyclists and it is also a form of training and preparation before we leave to compete in a few rounds of the World Cup in Europe and the World Track Cycling Championship in March next year,” said Azizulhasni who leaves for Europe this Saturday together with his fellow national cyclists.

Azizulhasni has stressed that what is important for him now is to ensure that he is as fit and healthy as possible to ensure that he is in top form so that he can amass as many points as possible at the World Cup that will enable him to qualify for the World Track Cycling Championship and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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