Unhappy Shah feels he was taken for a ride in Hangzhou

HANGZHOU: Malaysian cyclist Shah Firdaus Sahrom claimed he was actually confident of winning a gold medal at the Asian Games, but the hosts' alleged "dirty play" wrecked his hopes.

Shah said he was in his best condition, and he knew the level of his ability at the Games.

Malaysia had put its hope on the 27-year-old Shah for gold after Azizulhasni Awang pulled out of the Hangzhou Asian Games at the 11th hour after suffering injuries from a crash in training.

Shah said today: "I felt like being robbed of two gold medals in the two events that I competed in, the individual sprint and keirin."

Shah won three Asiad bronze medals from two individual and one team events in Hangzhou.

Shah believes he could have won the men's sprint gold if his victory in the first semi-final heat against China's Zhou Yu was not overturned due to an infraction.

"The decision made by the race commissaire did not make sense. What our racers did was said to be wrong," he said.

Shah won the first semi-final heat, but the commissaire overturned the result for entering the opponent's lane during the final lap at the Chun'an Jieshou Sports Centre Velodrome. Zhou went on to win the gold.

"Even the fans saw that during the final race of the keirin. I was sure of winning gold, but at that very moment a rider made a mistake and the race should have been restarted," said a dejected Shah.

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