Malaysia Medal hope: Azizulhasni qualified for the last 16 – London Olympics 2012

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LONDON: Cyclist Azizulhasni Awang began his quest for an Olympic medal in the sprint event by qualifying for the last 16 at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park on Saturday.

In the first qualifying race Azizul finished in 11 the place to make the last 32, which is on a knockout format.

In the qualifying round Azizul had a time of 10.266. But the race favourite Jason Kenny went on to set an Olympic record of 9.713s.

The Malaysian faced China’s Zhang Miao in the last 32 and defeated him to make the third round (last 16).

The Chinese is the reigning Asian champion. Azizul’s best time in the event is 10.149s.

If he gets through it then Azizul will qualify for the quarterfinals on Sunday. His opponent in the last 16 will only be known after the repercharge is completed later in the evening.

Malaysian team manager Datuk Naim Mohamed said that Azizul has done what he was expected in the early stages of the race schedule.

“We have targeted him to make the quarterfinals today. We are not expecting too much trouble with that. But then again you never know as you could end up with a strong opponent.

“Azizul has been quite relaxed today. I believe he will be at his best in the last 32 to make the cut for the quarterfinals tomorrow,” he added.

The semi-finals and final will be run on Monday. – The Star