World champion and Olympic bronze medallist, Azizulhasni Awang proved his high credentials again at the new National Velodrome in Nilai, Negri Sembilan - the cycling competition venue for the 29th SEA Games hosted by Malaysia.
Both the world champion and Olympic bronze were his first major wins for individual events. Then the 29-year-old Terengganu-born added two more "firsts" (SEA Games individual events) to his winning list when he clinched two gold medals in Nilai.
After winning the keirin for his first individual gold medal in the biennial games, Azizul struck gold in the sprint - beating his compatriot and training partner Muhd Shah Firdaus Shahrom. It was a gold which the whole nation celebrated, with millions glued to the live telecast of the race.
The second gold is of special significance to the Malaysia's world class cyclist. It was Malaysia's 111th gold medal which was the target set for this year’s Malaysian SEA Games contingent. Azizul will now go down in the history books as the one who clinched that "target" that made Malaysia the overall champion.
A jubilant Azizul celebrated it in style with his family who had made their way to the National Velodrome with other Malaysian supporters.
"No words can describe it,..it’s simply an amazing, once-in-a-life-time feeling" said the Melbourne-based Azizul, whose wife Athiah Ilyana Abdul Samat was there with their two kids to share the glory.
Azizul's only other SEA Games gold medal was in the team sprint with Josiah Ng and Rizal Tisin, achieved in Korat, Thailand (2007).
Azizul compared his wins in Nilai to the Rio Olympics where he won the bronze medal in the keirin event. Earlier March this year, Azizul nailed the gold medal at the World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong.
Just like other medal winners in the SEA Games, Azizul did not forget the home supporters.
"I am very touched by the support shown by the Malaysians. They are part and parcel of our success," added Azizul. The "Pocket Rocketman bade farewell to the regional games and is now eyeing bigger achievements at higher levels.