Malaysian sprint ace fighting for Olympic spot
Despite his failure to collect anything better than a silver medal at this week's Asian Cycling Championships, Azizulhasni Awang is confident of a result at the London Track World Cup which gets underway on February 16.
It was the second successive year that Awang has come away from the Asian Championships without a gold medal and follows a frustrating 12 months for the high profile Malaysian who was forced to miss the 2011 UCI Track World Championships after a 23 centimetre splinter skewered his lower left leg at the Manchester World Cup.
Malaysia has qualified just one athlete in the men's track program for the London Olympics in August with a decision to be made as to whether Josiah Ng or Awang takes the spot. Ng took out the keirin at the Asian Championships; Awang claimed silver in the sprint behind Japan's Kazunari Watanabe.
"I'm not too worried about that result. The most important thing for us is that Malaysia won the keirin. Now, we move on to the next phase and I'm feeling better about it," Azizul told the New Straits Times.
Awang finished 8th in the keirin at the Beijing Olympics and the following year claimed a silver medal in the sprint at the World Championships in Poland. In 2010 Awang also won silver in the keirin at the World Championships in Denmark and the finished the 2010-11 World Cup as keirin champion.
While this week's World Cup meet is crucial, and is given added significance given the event is taking place at the London Olympic Velopark, Awang is treating the meet as a stepping stone to better form.
"There's a long way to go to get there, but we still have time. I'm aiming to peak at the World Championships first, so that's where we'll see whether I've been doing enough," he said.
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