Azizulhasni pedals his way to second bronze in 24 hours in Japan

KUALA LUMPUR: National track cycling champion Datuk Azizulhasni Awang stepped onto the podium for the second time in approximately 24 hours after clinching a bronze medal in the men's keirin final at the Japan Track Cup II at Izu Velodrome, Shizuoka today.

Azizulhasni, who also secured bronze in the men's sprint event yesterday, had to concede to the prowess of two Japanese cyclists, with Kaiya Ota clinching gold and Kento Yamasaki taking silver, according to Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

In today's race, the strategy of the 2017 world champion and silver medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the keirin event was thwarted by Ota and Yamasaki's swift starts, sealing Japan's one-two victory.

It's Ota's second gold after the 24-year-old Japanese sensation also outpaced Azizulhasni in the men's sprint event.

At the same time, another Malaysian cyclist, Shah Firdaus Sahrom, who failed to qualify for the final, finished in eighth place in seventh to twelfth classification.

Meanwhile, rising star Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri secured seventh place in the women's keirin event after dominating the race in the seventh to twelfth classification race after her failure to qualify for the final.

The top three positions were claimed by Japanese cyclists, with Mina Sato winning gold, Fuko Umekawa taking silver, and Riyi Ohta earning bronze.

This competition in Japan serves as preparation ground for Azizulhasni, Shah Firdaus and Nurul Izzah as they gear up for the prestigious 2024 Paris Olympic Games, where they will represent Malaysia in track cycling. --BERNAMA

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