TOKYO: National track cyclist Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang put on a brave face when faced by the media addressing all the questions thrown at him during the post-race interview.
Despite his obvious disappointment with the result of the men’s keirin final on the last day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka today he held his composure well.
The silver medalist lost to Great Britain’s Jason Kenny and beat Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen who came third.
It was visible to all as tears welled up in the cyclist’s eyes as he repeatedly tried to come to terms with not being able to deliver the gold medal.
Only when surrounded by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria and National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Azizulhasni finally broke down in a private moment.
The Pocket Rocketman finally cracked at the weight of carrying the hopes of the entire nation to end the country’s quest for a first-ever Olympic gold medal. He kept on apologising for not fulfilling the hopes of all Malaysians with tears streaming down his cheeks.
Of course all of Malaysia is proud of Awang’s massive achievement in this hotly contested cycling discipline where racers cross the line beating their opponents by the width of a piece of A4 paper.
In time Awang will realise that there was no reason to apologise to anyone as his performances were admirable, witnessed by the whole of Malaysia and no doubt inspired many young boys and girls to take up this highly competitive sport – it will come as no surprise to those around the cycling world of Awang’s incredible talent.
*Photo for illustration purpose only.