Azizulhasni fails to make semis in sprint event of UCI Nations Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: National cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang’s challenge for a podium finish in the Sprint event at the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup ended at the quarterfinal stage today.

In the championships held at the Jakarta International Velodrome in Indonesia, Azizulhasni or better known as “The Pocket Rocketman” who clinched the silver medal in the keirin event yesterday, lost to Israel’s Mikhail Yakovlev in the quarterfinals.

Mohd Azizulhasni, 35, winner of the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, started off well in the first stage by clocking 10.063s to overcome Yakovlev by 0.062 seconds.

However, the Russian rider bounced back to clock times of 9.812s and 9.845s in the second and third stages to move into the semifinals, beating Azizulhasni’s times by 0.197s and 0.507s respectively in the second and third stages.

Yesterday, The Pocket Rocketman who had undergone heart surgery in April last year, clinched the silver medal in his pet event, keirin, behind three times world champion Harrie Lavreysen from Holland, while Yakovlev finished third.

Another National rider, Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom was not able to participate in the event today due to an injury suffered during an accident on the track involving Sam Dakin from New Zealand at the final stage of the keirin event, yesterday.

Meanwhile, two National women riders Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri and Anis Amira Rosidi failed to get past the first round of the women’s keirin event.

The championship in Jakarta is the first of three UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup which offers qualifying points for the 2024 Paris Olympics. – Bernama