KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Homegrown budget carrier AirAsia will be rewarding three Malaysian Paralympians who bagged gold at the ongoing Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a lifetime’s worth of free flights.
Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes announced the news on his Twitter and Instagram pages for Abdul Latif Romly, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi and Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli.
What an night. Watched our 2 first gold medals in olympics. Made me super proud. Ridzuan Puzi and ziyad zolkefli who got a world record. In shot put. More free flights for life coming. Congrats to @jasonlo1 who opened my eyes to these amazing athletes. His passion for paraolympics is Infectious. Watch tonight on www. Craptv. Com for coverage for maybe our 3rd medal. Long Jump 9.30 pm. . Proud day
3rd gold. And a word record . Well done latif. You have free flights for life pic.twitter.com/vPpO5zgOxG— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) September 11, 2016
“Watched our 2 first gold medals in Olympics. Made me super proud. Ridzuan Puzi and ziyad zolkefli who got a world record. In shot put. More free flights for life coming,” he said on Instagram yesterday, captioning an image of Mohamad Ridzuan and Muhammad Ziyad at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.
“3rd gold. And a word record . Well done Latif. You have free flights for life,” Fernandes later Tweeted last night after 19-year-old Abdul Latif from Kangar, broke the long jump T20 (learning disability) category with a 7.60m jump in his fifth attempt at the Olympic Stadium in Rio yesterday.
All three athletes also set new world records in their respective events.
Mohamad Ridzuan who won the first gold medal for Malaysia in the men’s 100m T36 (cerebral palsy category) dash, clocked 12.07 seconds to erase the old Paralympics record of 12.25s set by Roman Pavlyk from Ukraine at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
The second gold was delivered by Muhammad Ziyad with a new world record in the men’s shot put F20 (learning disability) event.
He hurled the iron ball 16.84m in his fifth attempt to erase the old world record of 16.29m set by Todd Hodgetts of Australia at the London Paralympics in 2012.
AirAsia previously announced lifetime free flights for all Olympic gold medalists from Asean members while silver and bronze medalists would receive similar free flights for five and two years respectively after last month’s Games.
The airline has yet to announce if all Asean Paralympic medalists would be accorded the same privilege.
Local news portal the New Straits Times Online also reported yesterday that homegrown car company Naza Corporation Holdings will award each of the three Paralympic gold medalists with a Kia Sportage 2016 car as well as a residential suite at Trion 888, Equine Park Selangor.