TOKYO, Sept 4 — Defending champion Abdul Latif Romly rocked the athletics arena at the Olympic Stadium here today when he bagged his second Paralympic gold medal in the men’s long jump T20 (intellectual impairment) category at the Tokyo Paralympics.
The athlete, who hails from Perlis and who also won gold at the 2016 Rio edition, was in a class of his own to confirm Malaysia’s third gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics with his very first jump - leaping to a distance of 7.26-metre (m).
Not satisfied, he leapt even further - 7.45m - in his second attempt to leave his rivals trailing in his wake.
Abdul Latif, who holds the world record of 7.64m that he set at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia, cleared 7.24m in his third attempt before his fourth attempt was cancelled.
The 24-year-old, who also holds the Paralympic record of 7.60m set in Rio 2016, could only manage 5.56m in his fifth attempt due to an injury.
The injury, which has yet to be confirmed, was so bad that he had to forgo the sixth and final attempt and left the field in a wheelchair accompanied by medical personnel for further treatment. Thankfully, the gold was already in the bag for Malaysia by then.
Athanasios Prodromou of Greece took silver with a leap of 7.17m while Australian Nicholas Hum settled for bronze with 7.12m.
Abdul Latif’s success means that Malaysia have now met the three-gold target set for them.
Earlier today, Cheah Liek Hou created history by becoming the first player to win gold in the men’s singles SU5 (physical impairment) category after badminton made its debut in the Tokyo Paralympics.
The world number two defeated his nemesis Anrimusthi Dheva of Indonesia 21-17, 21-15 in the final at the Yoyogi National Stadium here.
Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics came courtesy of powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin in the men’s 72-kilogramme (kg) category on Aug 28.
The national contingent also won two silver medals through Bonnie’s teammate, Jong Yee Khie in the men’s 107kg category on Monday (Aug 30) and boccia player Chew Wei Lun in the mixed individual BC1 (physical impairment) category on Wednesday (Sept 1). — Bernama