Malaysian cycling fans are furious with Australian cyclist Matthew Glaetzer following his blunder in the men’s kierin final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Glaetzer was left red-faced after inadvertently gifting British cyclist Jason Kenny a massive headstart with three laps remaining in Sunday’s final.
The 28-year-old was looking back at the competitors behind him when the pace bike pulled off the track, allowing Kenny to speed ahead to an unassailable lead and comfortably cross the finish line first.
“We haven’t seen this at an Olympic final before in a keirin,” Channel 7 commentator Scott McGrory said.
“What an upset in terms of tactics. That was outrageous.”
Australian cycling great Anna Meares continued: “That was just phenomenal … (Glaetzer) let the gap go too far.
“Jason Kenny capitalised on the opportunity. No-one could bring him back. I don’t think even he can believe it.”
Having won his semi-final, Malaysian star Azizulhasni Awang was touted as a gold medal contender, but the 2017 world champion had to settle with silver.
Glaetzer finished in fifth while Dutch cyclist Harrie Lavreysen claimed bronze.
When the official Australian Olympic Team account shared the result on Twitter, the post was quickly flooded with angry messages from Malaysian fans accusing Glaetzer of impeding Awang.
The Australian’s personal Instagram account was also bombarded with dozens of abusive posts.
Malaysia subsequently finishes the Tokyo Games with one silver and one bronze. The Asian nation has never won gold at the Olympics and will need to wait three years for another opportunity.
Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong posted to Facebook: “Congratulations, Datuk Azizulhasni Awang. It is a silver medal for Malaysia. You have done your best for the country.”
Meanwhile, Kenny became Great Britain’s greatest ever Olympian having won his seventh gold medal.
Asked if this was his final race, Kenny responded: “If you’d asked me this morning I would have said, ‘Yeah, probably’, but now I feel pretty good so I might carry on.
“This morning in my head I was 33 and getting slower. From a British cycling point of view you’d rather back someone who is 20 and getting faster. It was difficult.
“I haven’t been able to train the way I want to, I’ve had niggles. It might not be up to me (whether he stays in the team). I was disappointed with my pace here so it might be out of my hands.”
On his victory lap, Kenny tossed away his helmet before throwing his arms into the air. On the podium, Awang and Lavreysen hoisted Kenny onto their shoulders.
Kenny’s wife, Laura, was unable to add to her own medal haul, finishing sixth in the women’s omnium, an event in which she won gold in 2012 and 2016.
Laura Kenny won gold in the madison and silver in the team pursuit at the Tokyo Games, taking the Kenny couple’s total Olympic medal haul to 15, including 12 golds.
By : Nic Savage – News.com.au