TOKYO, Aug 5 (Bernama) — Disappointment is fast becoming a recurring theme for the national contingent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
For how else can you describe Day 14?
Three national athletes went into battle Thursday (Aug 5), with one fighting for a medal and two others fighting to stay in medal contention.
After the dust had settled, none prevailed.
Hopes of seeing national diver Pandelela Rinong rewarding the national contingent with a medal in the women’s 10-metre (m) platform individual final were crushed when the 28-year-old finished last among the 12 finalists.
Pandelela, who bagged a bronze in the event at the 2012 London edition, could only amass a five-dive total of 245.85 points at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre here.
China’s teen terrors – Quan Hongchan, 14, and Chen Yuxi, 15, – were in a league of their own to clinch gold and silver respectively with runaway scores of 466.20 and 425.40 points. Australian Melissa Wu (371.40) settled for bronze.
With that, the diving camp has failed to contribute a single medal from the Tokyo Olympics.
There was more disappointment for Malaysia over at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka, about 175 kilometres from here, when national cyclists Datuk Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom failed to make the quarter-finals of the men’s sprint event.
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 – but it made no difference.
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.
Still, it’s not all over for the national riders yet as they have one last chance to come good when they compete in the men’s keirin on Saturday (Aug 7).
Azizulhasni, who is nicknamed The Pocket Rocketman, will be relishing his chances as keirin is his pet event and, in fact, he became the first Malaysian track cyclist to win an Olympic medal when he bagged the keirin bronze at the 2016 Rio Games.
Over at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, national woman golfer Kelly Tan failed to improve her position after the end of the second round.
The 26-year-old shot a second-successive two-over 73 for a four-over 146 to be placed joint 49th with three others out of 60 golfers.
With three more days to go, the national contingent’s last chance of delivering two more medals to meet the three-medal target set for the Tokyo Olympics will rest on the shoulders of Azizulhasni and Muhammad Shah Firdaus.
Diving, badminton and cycling were the sports projected to deliver medals for the Malaysian contingent here but, so far, only shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have produced the goods – winning a bronze in the men’s doubles on Saturday (Aug 31).