Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cyclist Rizal outsprints Azizul to emerge champion

THE opening day of track cycling action saw Mohd Rizal Tisin and Azizul Hasni Awang giving Malaysia a 1-2 finish in the men's 1km individual time trial competition yesterday.

There was also a bronze medal-winning effort from Fatehah Mustapa in the women's 500m time trial in the velodrome at the Korat Sport Centre.

Mohd Rizal was a comfortable winner even though he set a poor time of 1:05.98, which was way off the national record of 1:03.781 which he set in the first round of the World Cup in Sydney last month.

Against all odds: Mohd Rizal Tisin celebrates with the Jalur Gemilang after winning the men's 1km time trial gold Monday.
Azizul clocked 1:06.64 to take the silver ahead of Filipino Paul Jan Morales (1:07.24).

“It was not a good time but it felt good to win a gold medal for the country in the SEA Games. I am capable doing a 1:03 for this event,” said Mohd Rizal.

“I have to admit that I am not at my best yet for the Games.

“I just arrived from Beijing last night after competing in the second round of the Track World Cup. I am competing here after just four hours of sleep.

“The track conditions were also not good and there was a lot of wind blowing, which just made it even harder to get a smooth ride today. When I saw Azizul making a 1:06, I knew that a 1:05 would be enough to take the gold medal.”

Fatehah clocked 37.18 to finish behind Indonesia's Muzizah Uyun (36.45) and Thailand's Jutatip Maneephan (36.49). It bettered her national record of 38.68, which she set in the Asian Championships in Bangkok in September

“I am still feeling lethargic from competing in Beijing and travelling as well.

“I just couldn't push myself any harder, especially in the final 100m to achieve a better time,” said Fatehah.

Malaysia drew blanks in the men's 40km points race. Saiful Anwar finished fifth while Mohd Jasmin Ruslan and Mohd Harris Saleh failed to complete the race. Victor Espiritu of the Philippines won the gold.


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