LONDON, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's sensational cyclist, Mohd Azizulhasni Awang has qualified for the quarterfinals of the Men's Sprint event in the London Olympics.
Dubbed "Pocket Rocketman", Mohd Azizulhasni, from Terengganu, started today's event by recording 10.226 seconds in the Qualifying session to come out in 11th spot out of 17 riders.
As only the top rider got the bye to enter the quarter-finals, the Malaysian had face off with beat Chinese rider Zhang Miao in the Heat 8 of 1/16 elimination rounds.
In the second eliminations (1/18), Melbourne-based Mohd Azizuhasni lost Russia's Denis Dmitriev and had to compete in the 1/8 final repechages in Heat 2 which he won to book a place in tomorrow's quarter-finals.
He, however, will face an uphill task tomorrow as he will compete besides Briton Jason Kenny who today became the leader in the Qualifying round and recorded a new Olympic record.
The Briton set 9.713 seconds to erase the old mark of 9.815s set by his team mate Chris Hoy in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Malaysia's cycling team manager Datuk Naim Mohamad, however, is confident that Mohd Azizulhasni can beat the Briton if the Malaysian is on top of his performance.
'There were 17 riders competing in today's Qualifying, but tomorrow, both Mohd Azizulhasni and Kenny will be riding side by side which will give more room for them to sprint," he said.
At he Beijing Games, Mohd Azizulhasni's challenge stranded at the quarter-final stage when he finished in eighth spot.
FROM ZULHILMI SUPAAT -- BERNAMA