LONDON: Azizulhasni Awang was just seconds away from delivering Malaysia's first Olympic medal from a sport other than badminton but had to admit defeat when his power-packed opponents turned on the heat in the final at the London 2012 Velodrome on Tuesday.
Azizul looked to be in the running for a medal in the last 200m as he kept himself with the pace-setters and even occupied second place at one stage when the sprint got underway.
However, the experienced field of world and Olympic medallists proved too strong once they turned on the power, leaving Azizul to cross the finish line in sixth.
Still it was an improvement on his 10th placed finish in the Beijing Olympics four years ago and although Azizul could be seen shaking his head as he crossed the line, he will look back to Tuesday's race as motivation to do even better in the future.
He is only 24 and there will be many more races for Azizul to win, including the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Britain's Chris Hoy defended his title while silver went to Germany's Maximilian Levy and New Zealand's Simon van Velthooven's was the surprise bronze medallist in a classy field.
Hoy went into the final as a five-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion, Dutchman Teun Mulder was a three time world champion, Australian Shane Perkins was the 2011 world keirin champion and Levy was a double bronze medallist in the sprint in Beijing 2008.
Azizul was no pushover himself, having won the keirin silver in the 2010 World Championships and a record three-time World Cup keirin champion, achievements he will undoubtedly add to in the future.