An unexpected early sprint by defending champion Jason Kenny of Great Britain thwarted national track cycling ace Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang’s bid to deliver Malaysia its first-ever Olympic gold medal at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka today.
As the dust settled on a dramatic men’s keirin final, which saw Kenny powering to the gold medal, Azizulhasni had to be contented with a hard-fought silver as Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen, who won gold in the men’s sprint, settled for bronze.
This is the 33-year-old Azizulhasni’s fourth straight Olympic outing since the 2008 Beijing edition.
Azizulhasni, nicknamed The Pocket Rocketman, failed to qualify for the keirin final in Beijing, finished sixth at the 2012 London Games before winning his first Olympic medal – a bronze – at the 2016 Rio edition.
He was among several Malaysian athletes who had been earmarked to win a gold in Tokyo.
Kenny’s victory extends Great Britain’s domination of men’s keirin, having won the gold in every edition since the 2008 Beijing Games.