High hopes on Malaysia’s Yee Khie to follow in Bonnie’s footsteps at Tokyo Paralympics

The Malaysian flag is seen in Tokyo. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama
The Malaysian flag is seen in Tokyo. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama

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TOKYO, Aug 29 — The national powerlifting camp will again be the focus of attraction for all Malaysians when Jong Yee Khie competes in the men’s 107-kilogramme (kg) event tomorrow morning in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Hopes are high that the world number two will follow in the footsteps of compatriot Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, who won the country’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics yesterday.

If the hairdresser from Batu Kawa, Kuching can reproduce the form he showed en route to winning the silver medal at the 11th Fazza Dubai Powerlifting World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June, there is a good chance that he can deliver the country’s second medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Yee Khie will also be hoping to make amends for his seventh placing in the 97-kg category when he made his Paralympic debut at the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro.

National coach Jamil Adam believes that Bonnie’s success would surely inspire Yee Khie to prove his mettle at the Tokyo International Forum when the event starts at 11am local time (10am Malaysian time) tomorrow.

Apart from winning the gold medal, Bonnie also broke the Games record when he lifted 228kg in his third attempt to shatter the previous mark of 227kg set by Rasool Mohsin of Iraq in Rio 2016.

Meanwhile, national boccia player Chew Wei Lun is also set to be the centre of attraction on the fifth day of the Tokyo Paralympics, having kept an unbeaten record in Group B of the mixed individual BC1 (physical impairment) category.

Wei Lun, who leads Group B after three matches, produced a sensational display at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre today when he beat world number two Witsanu Huadpradit of Thailand 1-0 in a tie-break after both players were level at 3-3 in regulation play.

World number 11 Wei Lun continued to show his fighting spirit later in the day when he bounced back from being 0-3 down to oust another higher-ranked player, world number eight Sungjoon Jung of South Korea 9-3.

He will complete his Group B fixtures with a clash against Katerina Curinova of the Czech Republic tomorrow.

Over at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, national swimmer Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli suffered another blow when he was disqualified from Heat One of the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 (physical impairment) category.

Although he finished third in Heat One, the disqualification meant failed to advance to the final.

National Sports Council (NSC) Paralympic Division director Mohd Sofian Hamzah confirmed that the 26-year-old swimmer was disqualified for committing yet another technical mistake.

“Nur Syaiful’s head did not emerge to the surface of the water for a distance of 15 metres in the early stage of the race,” he said.

On Wednesday (August 25), Nur Syaiful was also disqualified in Heat One of the men’s 200m freestyle S5 (physical impairment) on a technical issue, after he was found swimming with a plaster patch on his left shoulder to reduce the pain from an injury. — Bernama

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