KUALA LUMPUR: Track cyclist Shah Firdaus Sahrom lived up to expectations by claiming a well-deserved bronze in the men's keirin at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Trinidad and Tobago's Nicholas Paul romped to the gold while Scotland's Jack Carlin came in second just ahead of Shah.
Shah said the message from national track cycling ace Azizulhasni Awang did the trick as it motivated him to perform well.
"I am a little sad that Azizulhasni is not here with me because he's like my big brother. Whenever we compete in the keirin event, we always make sure we are not too far apart from one another.
"Azizulhasni told me that I performed solidly in the team sprint event yesterday and that I was also the second fastest in that event... (so) he told me to just follow my instincts and go full throttle," he said.
Shah, who was drawn fourth behind the derny, showed his experience as he forced his way out after being boxed in with two laps to go at the Lee Valley VeloPark.
The Johorean came close to overtaking Carlin at the end but was pipped to the silver by less than half a wheel.
Paul, who is the individual sprint world record holder, has been in fine form over the past few months and his outright pace was clear to see.
He was able to pull away on the final lap, comfortably hitting the line four tenths of a second ahead of Carlin. The bronze is Shah's first medal from a major multi-sport competition.
Shah's teammates Fadhil Zonis and Ridwan Sahrom did not make it past the first round repechage.