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Shah Firdaus beats China’s Xue to win Asian Games bronze

Shah Firdaus Sahrom won his maiden individual Asiad medal in the men’s sprint today. (AFP pic)

HANGZHOU: National track cyclist Shah Firdaus Sahrom clinched the men’s sprint bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games today.

The 27-year-old won his maiden individual Asiad medal after beating China’s Chenxi Xue 2-0 in the bronze medal decider at the Chun’an Jieshou Sports Centre Velodrome.

He clocked 10.076s in the first race, 0.09s faster than the Chinese cyclist, before sealing victory in the second with a time of 10.367s to beat his opponent by 0.047s.

Shah Firdaus, who won silver in the team sprint at the 2018 edition in Indonesia, missed out on the finals after losing to China’s Zhou Yu in the semifinals.

Japan’s Kaiya Ota bagged gold after edging Zhou Yu in the final in the absence of reigning Asian champion and 2018 gold medallist Azizulhasni Awang, who withdrew after suffering an injury.

Shah Firdaus had earlier stunned Asian Championships silver medallist Shinji Nakano of Japan in the quarterfinals.

His brother, 22-year-old Ridwan, had to be content with seventh place in the men’s sprint after losing to Zhou Yu in the last eight.

Shah Firdaus and Fadhil Zonis will compete in the men’s keirin event tomorrow.

Meanwhile in the women’s sprint, Anis Amira Rosidi and Nurul Izzah Izzati Asri qualified for tomorrow’s quarterfinals.

The track cycling team began their Asiad campaign with bronze medals in the team sprint events through the women’s trio of Nurul Aliana Syafika Azizan, Nurul Izzah Izzati and Anis Amira; as well as the men’s trio of Umar Hasbullah, Ridwan and Fadhil.