TOKYO: National cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang(pix) is expecting a tough time against Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland in Heat One of their 1/8 Finals in the men’s sprint event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Thursday (Aug 5).

However, Azizulhasni believes that anything is possible as he gears up for the race that will be held at the Izu Velodrome.

“Don’t give up too easily, keep trying hard and believe in yourself,” was the message he had for his viewers in the latest video clip uploaded onto the Azizul Awang Youtube channel, entitled ‘Pecutan Hari Pertama | Perjalanan Azizul Awang Mengejar Kilauan Emas’.

Earlier, Hoogland smashed the Olympic record in the sprint event when he clocked 9.215 seconds in the qualifying round.

Azizulhasni rode into the 1/8 Finals after beating Canada’s Nick Wammes in Heat Four of the 1/16 Finals repechage.

Meanwhile, Azizulhasni said he was a tad upset at not being able to set a personal best on Wednesday (Aug 4).

The Rio 2016 bronze medallist holds the national record of 9.548 seconds (s), which he set at last year’s world meet in Berlin, Germany.

His best timing for Wednesday’s race was 9.626s, which he achieved in the qualifying round.

Azizulhasni also hopes that Malaysians will continue to pray for him and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom’s success at the Tokyo Games.

“Continue to support us, stay tuned and keep praying for us. Insyaallah, we’ll give our best tomorrow (Aug 5),” Azizulhasni added.

Muhammad Shah Firdaus will have a chance to avenge his defeat at the hands of Harrie Lavreysen, also of the Netherlands, in the men’s 1/32 Finals as both cyclists have been pitted together again in Heat Two of the 1/8 Finals on Thursday (Aug 5). -Bernama