RIZAL Tisin broke new ground for Malaysian cycling by claiming a first-ever Commonwealth Games medal, a silver, in the track discipline at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex yesterday.
But it could have been gold had Rizal timed his run perfectly in the 1km time trial. He was the 11th rider in the 13-competitor field to take off and he stopped the clock at 1:02.768.
New Zealand’s Edward Dawkins was under Rizal’s pace until he slowed in the last 150m and was pushed to the bronze medal position in 1:02.777.
Australia’s Scott Sunderland posted a personal best effort to bag the gold in 1:01.411, which also saw him smashing the previous Games record of 1:01.726 held by Scotland’s Chris Hoy since the Manchester Games in 2002.
Mine: Rizal Tisin showing off the silver medal which he won in the Men’s 1km time trial at Indra Ghandi Sports Complex in New Delhi Tuesday.
Rizal may have etch his name in the history books as the first Malaysian track cyclist to get among the medals in the Commonwealth Games but he was far from satisfied with his effort.
The Selangor-born rider was also the first Malaysian to get on the podium in the world championships in Poland last year when he won the bronze medal in a new national record of 1:01.658.
“I would have got the gold if I had bettered my national record,” said Rizal, a World Cup winner in the event last year.
“I think I was slower because I started on a bigger gear. My opponent also did a personal best time but I felt I could have beaten it as I was in good form.”
Despite this, Rizal should be gratified by his silver medal run after having to come back from a fractured left ankle injury suffered in a hit-and-run road accident late last year.
As a result, he missed the world championships in Copenhagen this year. But he has recovered his form and should be looking forward to another good run in the keirin event today.
With the pressure off the squad, all eyes will be on whether Rizal, Josiah and two-time world championships silver medallist Azizul Hasni Awang can stop the fancied Australian and European riders to claim the gold.
Australian Shane Perkins, the world championship sprint silver medallist, and world junior champion Sam Webster of New Zealand are among the favourites in the keirin field.
Meanwhile, Akmal Amrun finished 11th in the men’s individual pursuit qualification yesterday. Australian Jack Bobridge set a new Games record of 4:14.845 to win the event.
The Australians ruled the first day of competition with Anna Meares successfully defending her 500m time trial title in a new Games record of 33.758.