AZIZULHASNI Awang successfully navigated his way into the second round of the men's sprint at the Olympic Velodrome yesterday.
The Malaysian, who will also compete in the keirin on Tuesday, clocked 10.226 seconds in the ranking round for the 11th fastest time.
Azizulhasni, a quarter-finalist in the sprint in Beijing four years ago, was given an inkling of just how tough the competition is going to be after Britain's Jason Kenny set a new Olympic record of 9.713.
Kenny is the rider who ensured Chris Hoy, who beat Azizulhasni in the quarter-finals en route to winning the sprint gold, could not defend his Beijing Olympics title on home soil.
Azizulhasni was then drawn to meet China's Zhang Miao -- the 2010 Asian Games champion -- in the first round, which he comfortably won and was due to race again late yesterday.
Other big name riders who advanced to the second round were France's Gregory Bauge and Australia's Shane Perkins while Kenny, by virtue of his new Olympic record, received a bye into the second round.
"Azizulhasni showed good form in the ranking round and beating Zhang Miao has motivated him to give the sprint his best shot," said team manager Datuk Naim Mohamad.