No medal, but athletes remain upbeat
Posted on August 9, 2012, Thursday
Mohd Azizulhasni finishes sixth in Keirin, diver Yeoh in 10th
LONDON: National track rider Mohd Azizulhasni Awang bettered his achievement at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he claimed sixth spot in the Men’s Individual Keirin final of the London Olympics.
In the event held at the London Velodrome here on Tuesday, the 24-year-old rider from Dungun, Terengganu, competed with five other world class riders who had illustrious achievements under their belt.
In the eight-lap race, Mohd Azizulhasni started by following the five riders in front before rocketing to the front with three laps to go, competing with the defending champion from Beijing edition Briton, Chris Hoy, and three times world champion Teun Mulder from the Netherlands. But 50 metres before the finishing line, Mohd Azizulhasni, three consecutive times World Cup Keirin champion (2008-2010), was blocked by Mulder which enabled the other riders to pass him.
The Malaysian had to be satisfied with sixth spot, which is one rung higher than his achievement at the Beijing Olympics.
Earlier, in the semi-finals, Mohd Aizulhasni, dubbed as the Pocket Rocketman, had clinched the second spot to advance to the final. Hoy was first and Mulder third.
In the first round, the Malaysian had grabbed the second spot behind Mickael Bourgain of France to automatically advance to the semis.
In the Men’s Sprint which concluded two days ago, Mohd Azizulhasni took eighth spot. Malaysia’s cycling team manager Datuk Naim Mohamad said Mohd Azizulhasni was a pint-sized rider but with a big heart.
“Before coming to London, he (Azizulhasni) had also suffered injuries while competing and training but was determined to compete in this Olympics. His achievement at the semi-finals is also something for all of us to be proud of,” he said.
Meanwhile, national diver Yeoh Ken Nee, after nearly 10 years skipping the world’s biggest sporting event, finished in 10th spot in the Men’s 3m Springboard final at the Aquatics Centre.
Competing in his second Olympics after Sydney 2000, the 29-years-old lanky diver from Kuala Lumpur collected a total of 437.45 points in the six degrees of difficulties of the event.
He collected 79.05, 78.20, 49.50, 79.20, 76.50 and 75.00 to secure the 10th position out the 12 divers who qualified for the final. Russian’s Ilya Zakharov won the gold (555.90 points) while Chinese divers Qin Kai (541.75) and He Chong (524.15) took home the silver and bronze respectively.
At the Sydney Games, he did not get past the preliminary rounds.
“I had to skip the Athens Games to further my studies while did not make the cut for the Beijing Games of 2008,” he said. He, however, was satisfied with yesterday’s achievement as he only targetted to be among the top 10 divers. — Bernama