Newly crowned Asian keirin champ Izzah "can go far", says Azizulhasni

KUALA LUMPUR: Former world champion Azizulhasni Awang believes that Izzah Izzati Asri has a bright future in the sport after winning the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ACC) women's keirin gold medal in New Delhi yesterday.

Azizulhasni praised Izzah for her determination and said it was a reminder that being small-sized does not determine an athlete's talent.

Izzah and teammate Anis Amira Rosidi clinched a 1-3 finish for Malaysia in the keirin at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome.

"The New Delhi ACC was the best opportunity for our national riders to show their true potential and win an Asian title which is coveted by all riders from Asia," said Azizulhasni on social media today.

"Izzah showed great fighting spirit and determination.

"Her success is a sign to the Malaysian sports landscape, it shows that she has a bright future and can go far.

"Her acceleration yesterday is also a reminder to all parties that a small physique is not the greatest indicator of a person's talent.

"We should also praise her teammate Anis for winning bronze. Her determination to maintain her pace until the finish line proved how much she wanted it.

"For the record, Anis was racing with an injury. Of course the bronze will be a sweet memory for her."

The gold was Izzah's third medal of the tournament after winning the team sprint silver, with Anis and Aliana Azizan, and the individual sprint bronze earlier last week.

Izzah, who is 1.52 metres tall, has been dubbed the 'Pocket Rocketwoman' due to similarities to Azizulhasni.

Azizulhasni also urged the Sahrom brothers, Shah and Ridwan, to keep fighting after a difficult outing in the men's keirin yesterday.

"Congratulations on the efforts you gave. Hopefully both of you will not give up and will continue to work hard for the future," he said.

Shah was unable to qualify for the keirin final after being forced out of contention in his second round heat due to an opponent's unsporting tactics.

Ridwan was able to place fifth in the final.

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