Tokyo 2020: Cyclists Mohd Azizulhasni Awang And Sarah Lee Wai-Sze Win Medals In Final Day Of Olympic Games
Two Gen.T honourees emerged with cycling medals from the Izu Velodrome on the final day of competition at Tokyo 2020.
Sarah Lee Wai-sze earned a bronze medal for Hong Kong in the women’s sprint, beating Germany’s Emma Hinze to the finish line. Less than an hour later, Mohd Azizulhasni Awang finished just behind British cyclist Jason Kenny in the men's keirin event, taking home silver for Malaysia.
Lee Wai-sze’s bronze makes her the first Hong Kong athlete to win a medal at separate Olympic Games—the 34-year-old won bronze in the women’s keirin at the 2012 London Olympics.
After her win, Sarah thanked her family, crew and teammates, saying that they gave her a lot of confidence, staying by her side during difficult times. “I have learned how to take care of myself during the Games; in the past I have been busy with many other things," she said.
“During these two weeks, I often tell myself that I have to love myself more, so that I will have the energy to move forward. As it turns out, I can become the person I love the most."
Awang, known in Malaysia as The Pocket Rocketman, inspired a nation still under a strict Covid-19 lockdown. The 33-year-old has received a message of congratulations from the country’s king and queen and offered a PhD scholarship and lecturer post by a Malaysian university.
“The feeling is bittersweet as I was the only gold medal contender and the nation's last chance to get it, but I came away with a silver medal in the end,” said Awang. “I want all Malaysians to know that I gave my very best in this competition.”
In an emotional interview, Awang also discussed his father’s illness, breaking down in tears as he recounted his father telling him to not worry and focus on the Olympics. As Awang discussed missing his wife and children, the interviewer also broke it to him that his wife is pregnant with their third child.
The two podiums in the velodrome take the total number of medals won by Gen.T honourees at Tokyo 2020 to six. In addition to Lee Wai-sze and Awang’s successes, Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Haughey won two silver medals in the pool, Thailand's Panipak Wongpattanakit won gold in women's taekwondo in the 49kg category, and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting—the first gold medal won by any Filipino athlete at the Olympic Games.
Additional reporting: Chong Jinn Xiung.
See more athletes from the Sports category of the Gen.T List.