KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — National cyclists Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom made it to the third round of the sprint event at the Tokyo Olympics by winning their round of 16 finals repechages today.
Azizul lost his first heat to defending gold medallist Jason Kenny from Great Britain but recovered to win his first repechage against Kevin Santiago from Colombia and Ethan Mitchell from New Zealand.
He lost the following heat to Nicholas Paul from Trinidad and Tobago, but again recovered to send Canada’s Nick Wammes home early, winning by a 0.104s margin to book his place in the quarterfinals.
Shah Firdaus had a similar path, first losing to Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen in the first round by 0.063s. He recovered to win his first repechage against Canada’s Hugo Barrette and Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk.
In the following round, he lost to Great Britain’s Jack Carlin and had one last chance to make the quarterfinals by beating Poland’s Patryk Rajkowski.
At the start of the race, Patryk came to a standstill as he tried to make Shah Firdaus fall off his bike by staying stationary in one spot. The cyclist whose feet touch the ground automatically loses the race.
Shah was unfazed and after playing the Pole’s mind games for several seconds, took the lead and sprinted ahead.
As both cyclists tried to gain an advantage they came too close to each other and clashed, causing Patryk to fall.
This necessitated a restart.
As both cyclists took to the start line for the restart, they stared at one another trying to psych each other out. Shah refused to look away and upon resumption ghosted Patryk until the second lap when Patryk took off.
Shah however managed to close the gap and in the end won by a comfortable 0.260s margin to book his place alongside Azizul in tomorrow’s quarterfinals stage set to start from 3pm Malaysian time.
Meanwhile, Rio Olympics silver medallist, Pandelela Rinong, made it to the semifinals stage of the women’s individual 10m platform event in last place.
She finished 18 out of 30 divers to make the semis tomorrow with a 284.90 points while teammate and fellow Rio silver medalist Cheong Jun Hoong exited the event as she finished in 26th place with 251.80 points from five dives.
The semi-finals will take place tomorrow morning and then, the top 12 will contest in the final in the afternoon.
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