Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Azizul only Asian to qualify for sprint quarter-finals

Azizul qualified for the sprint after finishing first in the repechage.

TRACK cyclist Azizul Hasni Awang showed remarkable character in beating the odds to reach the quarter-finals of the 200m sprint at the Laoshan Velodrome yesterday.

Azizul was down in the dumps after failing to break into the keirin final but he put the disappointment behind him and clocked a flying lap of 10.272 for the seventh fastest time in the first round qualification.

The 20-year-old Olympic debutant was unfortunate to be drawn against 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist Ryan Bayley of Australia and lost the duel to go into the repechage

However, the Malaysian pulled through to the last 16 when he beat Japan's Kitatsuru Tsubasa and Poland's Lukasz Kwiatkowski.

It was another repeat in the last 16 round. He was beaten by British rider Jason Kenny but showed true grit in coming back to finish ahead of German Stefan Nimke and Italian Roberto Chiappa in the repechage.

Azizul is the first Malaysian to enter the quarter-finals of the 200m sprint competition at the Olympics, which is held on a knockout basis

Josiah was the first to qualify for the 200m sprint at the Athens Olympics four years ago and finished 11th.

Azizul is the only Asian in the quarter-finals today.

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