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NST Online: Sports


National Sports Awards: Azizul's double celebration

Posted: 15 Mar 2011 05:06 PM PDT


The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presenting the Sportsman of the Year trophy to Azizul Hasni Awang in Kuala Lumpur last night while Sportswoman of the Year Nicol David (right) looks on. — Bernama picture

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presenting the Sportsman of the Year trophy to Azizul Hasni Awang in Kuala Lumpur last night while Sportswoman of the Year Nicol David (right) looks on. — Bernama picture

APPLAUDED like a national hero, Azizul Hasni Awang stood tall as he entered the history books as the first cyclist to be crowned Sportsman of the Year for a second time.

Women's world squash's dominant force, Nicol David also retained her crown and extended her stranglehold on the Sportswoman of the Year award when she bagged the title for the eighth time.

The National Sports Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur last night was a special one for 23-year-old Azizul, who is due to hold his wedding reception on April 2-3 in Ipoh.


"This is worthy consolation for me as I missed out on the World Championships.

"It is also an honour to write history for my sport and repeat this," said Azizul last night.

The applause from the crowd as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin presented Azizul his award provided some relief to the pain that the reigning World Cup keirin champion is going through.


"It is hard just to train, and I have to take it really slow, just slowly doing light training in the gym and short rides on the bike to recover.

"I can't really push myself yet," said Azizul.

Still recovering from the crash in the final round of the World Cup in Manchester last month that made headlines, Azizul admitted he would prefer to be onboard the flight to the Netherlands for the World Championships next week.


Azizul had a 22-centimetre wood splinter surgically removed after it pierced his left calf following the crash in Manchester. Despite the incident, the Dungun-born rider climbed back on his bike and rode on to finish third and claim the bronze medal which ensured that he retain the World Cup overall keirin title for the third straight year.

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Football: Selangor show Johor who's boss

Posted: 15 Mar 2011 05:04 PM PDT

SUPER League champions Selangor stepped out of their comfort zone in the second half to overcome Premier League side Johor 3-1 in the quarter-final first leg of the FA Cup at the Shah Alam Stadium yesterday.

After a goalless first half, the Selangor players trooped back onto the pitch by scoring three times for a comfortable lead to take to Larkin Stadium on Saturday.

Captain Amri Yahyah almost put Selangor ahead in the 11th minute but his first timer, from inside the penalty box, bounced off the right post before a Johor defender cleared the ball away.


Despite playing against a Super league side, Johor did not opt for a defensive approach in the match.

And 15 minutes into the game, the Johor side had their first shot on target through captain Norizam Salaman's free kick but Selangor goalkeeper Iqbal Suhaimi was equal to it.

Selangor had more possession in the first half but failed to make their opportunities count. Credit, however, must be given to Johor defenders together with goalkeeper Amirul Abu Seman, who were all at their best, to deny the homesters from scoring.


In the second half, Selangor pressed forward in search of a goal and they were rewarded through Hardi Jaafar's strike in the 49th minute. Amri managed to steal the ball from a Johor defender in the penalty box before passing it to Hardi, who on the turn outfoxed the onrushing Johor keeper Amirul before hitting home.

Selangor extended their lead through striker Rudie Ramli, who stabbed the ball home, from an Azidan Sarudin's cross on the right in the 56th minute before Amri added the third in the 71st minute. Johor reduced the deficit through Mohd Alif Mohd Yusof's strike in the 78th minute.

At the Darulaman Stadium, Pahang maintained their recent good form by edging Kuala Lumpur 2-1.


In an evenly contested match, Pahang took the lead in the 35th minute, courtesy of a mistake by KL goalkeeper Norazlan Razali, who allowed Famirul Asraf Sayuti's shot, from an acute angle, to slip through his fingers for the lead.

But KL returned with vengeance after half time in hope of getting back into the match. The visitors' persistence were rewarded in the 55th minute when striker Ahmad Azlan Zainal converted a spot kick after a Pahang player had handled the ball in the penalty box.

But Pahang gained back their lead through Azamuddin Akil, who slotted the ball past KL keeper Norazlan, nine minutes later.

In other matches, Kelantan drew 2-2 with Felda at home while Perak defeated Terengganu 3-2 in Ipoh.

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