KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have been quick to sing the praises of new keirin world champion Azizulhasni Awang following his triumph at the Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong.
Among the first few to congratulate the 29-year-old after his historic win at the Hong Kong Velodrome on Thursday night were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Najib tweeted: “Juara Dunia Keirin 2017, #PocketRocketMan ! Tahniah @AzizulAWANG menang Kejohanan Track Berbasikal di Hong Kong! #Kebanggaanku #Negaraku .”
“Malaysia, @AzizulAWANG is the Keirin World Champion!!!!”
Khairy was just as ecstatic, tweeting: “Still can’t move on. What a race. What a finish. @AzizulAWANG had enough of a lead to wheelie at the finish line! World champion.
“Huge night for Malaysian sports. @AzizulAWANG has the rainbow jersey. World champion.
“Rainbow jersey! Tahniah @AzizulAWANG. World champ.”
Azizul blew away his rivals en route to ending his 10-year quest for the keirin world title.
He timed his last sprint to perfection to win the men’s keirin final by a comfortable margin, finishing ahead of the in-form Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapara of Colombia and Babek Thomas of the Czech Republic.
Even Sir Chris Hoy – Azizulhasni’s former rival and a cycling icon in Great Britain – congratulated the Malaysian rider, who goes by the nickname ‘“Pocket Rocketman”.
“A hugely popular and well-earned win. We had some cracking battles over the years! Bravo and enjoy wearing the rainbow jersey @AzizulAWANG,” said the rider who represented Great Britain at the Olympics and the World Championships and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
Eleven-time world champion Hoy has seven Olympic medals – six golds and one silver. — Bernama
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/sport/cycling/2017/04/15/new-champ-gets-praises-from-najib-khairy-and-hoy/#RiGBKfOSp6dRsQ6F.99