King Awang reigns in Melbourne
Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang salutes the crowd Photo ©: Shane Goss
There were two riders the crowd kept a keen eye on in the men's keirin - François Pervis and Shane Perkins. As the pair made their respective ways to the final with commanding rides, they proved why they were the centre of attention.
While spectators eagerly anticipated the match up between Australian and Frenchman, it was a 66kg flier that caught the pair napping and stole the win. Azizulhasni Awang made his move with half a lap remaining, punching through the gap between Perkins and Pervis on the inside, and Greece's Christos Volikakis on the far side.
"I wanted to prove that size doesn't matter," said Awang. He then praised the efforts of his Australian coach, John Beasley, and credited him with helping develop the tactical nous necessary to make a move such as his race-winning one.
"When I've trained with John, he does very good training and has helped me improve with my racing," he said. "The two guys cut in front of me and I was stuck, so I couldn't wait any more and made a move."
Beasley himself knew Awang's size wasn't really an issue. "I know how fast he is, but I think he surprised a few of the others, although they should know who he is by now because he's been on the world scene for 12 months and he's been getting better and better," he said. "He likes to train hard."
The Victorian, who has helped the Malaysian team immensely, added: "We've pretty much got everything that we want and need - we've just done the budget for the next four years and we've got a lot of work in front of us. We've got great support from Malaysia and they're backing us 100 per cent - I've just got to come up with the goods."