Aussie cyclist Matthew Glaetzer has copped a torrent of online abuse from Malaysian fans after Sunday's keirin final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Glaetzer showed incredible guts to overcome his ill health this week and reach the final, but he and the rest of the field were left gobsmacked by a stunning ride from British legend Jason Kenny.
'ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING': Viewers in shock after velodrome 'carnage'
Kenny was leading the race as the derny swung off the track with three laps left, with Glaetzer second in the paceline and checking the riders behind him.
But there was too much of a gap between Kenny and Glaetzer and the British ace pounced, launching an improbable solo charge that rocketed him to the gold medal.
“We haven’t seen this at an Olympic final before in a keirin,” Scott McGrory said in commentary for Channel 7.
“What an upset in terms of tactics. That was outrageous.”
Aussie Olympic champion Anna Meares added: “That was just phenomenal … (Glaetzer) let the gap go too far.
“Jason Kenny capitalised on the opportunity. No-one could bring him back. I don’t think even he can believe it.”
Malaysian star Azizulhasni Awang claimed the silver medal but was bitterly disappointed at missing out on gold after winning his semi-final.
“If I go ahead early, it’s a bit risky. Glaetzer, I don’t know what he did, he gave too much lead (to Kenny), ”Awang told Astro Arena.
"But this is a sport. Sometimes we want to win but it’s out of our control.
“I want Malaysians to know that I have done the best I can.”
Matthew Glaetzer targeted by Malaysian cycling fans
However Glaetzer became the target of some disgusting online abuse in the aftermath of the race, with Malaysian fans taking aim at the Aussie cyclist.
Malaysian journalist Shannon Teoh said Glaetzer’s tactics were more like that of a “teammate” of Kenny, jokingly suggesting the Malaysian foreign affairs ministry summon the country’s Australian high commissioner.
A Twitter post of the result from the Australian Olympic Team's official account was bombarded with angry messages from Malaysian fans, while Glaetzer's Instagram account was also targeted.
Malaysia has never won a gold medal at the Olympics, finishing with one silver and one bronze in Tokyo.
Glaetzer finished fifth and remains without a medal after three Olympic Games, but he showed plenty of heart and determination throughout the week.
He was in the team sprint combination that finished fourth on Tuesday and said that event "completely broke me".
He subsequently sat out the sprint and returned for the keirin.
It is also two years since he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
"Sometimes things need to fall your way and unfortunately for me, they haven't personally in terms of medals," he said.
"I've got a bit of a larger perspective ... I'm privileged to ride my bike for Australia."
Glaetzer said he will now take an extended break from cycling before considering his future.
Bizarre keirin final, with Matthew Glaetzer having a shocker letting Jason Kenny take a huge gap before the moto even left the track.
Kenny soloed three laps for the win. Heartbreak for Awang, who finished well in second. #Olympics #Tokyo2020 #Cycling
— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) August 8, 2021
Malaysian athletes are sacrificing a lot to do the nation proud meanwhile some “typical malaysian netizens” are trying so hard to bring it down🙂. Yesterday they harrased Jack Carlin & today Matthew Glaetzer. This is really embarrasing. Grow up. #CyclingTrack #jackcarlin
— 𝗞𝗮𝘆𝘀🦋✨ (@TqNext__) August 8, 2021
They wouldn't hang for 3 laps anyway. None of them took the initiative to chase, stop making Glaetzer a scapegoat.
— Matt B (@Northern_Goblin) August 8, 2021
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.