BEIJING 2008 is still fresh in Azizulhasni Awang's memory.
Then, as a 20-year-old, he took on the mighty Chris Hoy and had to concede defeat in the quarter-final stage of the sprint, a defeat which Azizul believes helped him become a better sprinter.
Four years later in London, triple Beijing Olympics gold medallist Hoy will not defend his sprint crown but for Azizul, the target is the same -- the title.
While the keirin -- which will be contested on Tuesday -- remains his favourite event, Azizul said he will not hold back in the sprint.
"I am in London with the aim of becoming Olympic champion and it does not matter in which event," said the aptly nicknamed 'Pocket-Rocketman' yesterday.
"Despite Hoy's absence, a classy field has assembled in London but I believe my chances are as good as anyone else's. I will approach the sprint the same as I will the keirin -- with the intention to win gold."
Azizul said he was confident he could better his quarter-final appearance of Beijing as he has matured as a rider.
"In Beijing, I was a little overawed by the occasion but that is a thing of the past. I have not only improved as a rider but also matured as I have competed at the highest stages of the sport."
The three-day sprint starts on Saturday and Azizul will be out to extinguish more than 12 months of pain, which started when he suffered a horrific crash which resulted in a wooden splinter piercing his calf.
It has been a struggle for the cyclist from Dungun to rediscover the form which saw him win silver in the 2008 World Championships sprint, which was followed by another second-placed finish in the keirin at the same stage a year later.
A training accident last week, which left him with lacerations on various parts of his body, was the latest injury worry but Azizul said he has healed.
"I feel fine and am able to pedal normally since arriving in London. Now it is about the competition."
A confident athlete, Malaysia hopes the Pocket-Rocketman explodes at the velodrome and fulfils his tremendous promise.