TOKYO – Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s sprint event fizzled out after Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom missed out on the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics, here, today.
After losing in the 1/8 Finals earlier, the duo were handed another tilt at qualifying for the quarter-finals via the 1/8 Finals repechages at the Izu Velodrome here, but it proved in vain.
In Heat One of the 1/8 Finals repechages, reigning champion Jason Kenny of Great Britain came out tops in 10.066 seconds (s), with Azizulhasni trailing in second place and Japan’s Yuta Wakimoto third.
In Heat Two, Muhammad Shah Firdaus could only finish third behind France’s Sebastien Vigier, who won in 10.169s, and New Zealand’s Sam Webster.
The winners of each of the two heats are through to the quarter-finals to be held later today.
Meanwhile, in the 1/18 Finals earlier, the two Malaysian riders fell to the might of their Dutch opponents, with Azizulhasni losing to Jeffrey Hoogland and Muhammad Shah Firdaus to Harrie Lavreysen.
Hoogland, who smashed the Olympic record with a time of 9.215s in the qualifying round Wednesday (Aug 4), clocked 9.831s – just 0.040s faster than Azizulhasni – in Heat One.
Muhammad Shah Firdaus then suffered a second straight defeat to Lavreysen in Heat Two as the Dutchman clocked 9.635s, with the Malaysian trailing 0.133s behind.
Lavreysen had also defeated Muhammad Shah Firdaus in Wednesday’s (Aug 4) 1/32 Finals.
Still, it’s not all over for the national riders as they have one last chance to come good when they compete in the men’s keirin on Saturday (Aug 7).
Azizulhasni became the first Malaysian track cyclist to win an Olympic medal when he returned home with a bronze in men’s keirin at the 2016 Rio Games.