SEPANG, Aug 5 — The success of the Malaysian contingent winning six gold medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles recently shows the determination and commitment by people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Malaysia president Jayasingh Rajiah said the six gold medals came through Darien Lum (men’s 100m and long jump), Chia Yuan Sheng (women’s 100m), Clarence Junis (50m Freestyle swimming), Muhamad Umar Hafiy Mohd Firuz (golf), Md Isamudin Mohd Samsudin and Toh Hong Hui (men’s tenpin bowling).
The Malaysian contingent also won eight silver and seven bronze medals in the Games held from July 25 to Aug 2.
“Since all athletes who took part in the Games were participating for the first time, I did not set any specific target but winning six gold medals is beyond our expectation.
“It was not an easy feat to equal the performance of the previous Games held four years ago but our athletes showed a high level of commitment and dedication despite many of them training on their own,” he told reporters after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here with the contingent.
Jayasingh said the entire cost of the Malaysian contingent’s participation was borne by the association but he thanked Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin for joining the team and offering his support.
“We did not request for any funds from the ministry but Khairy has promised to help us. He has also invited all the athletes for a dinner that will be hosted by him and he is expected to give some form of ‘gift’ to the athletes or winners,” he said.
Meanwhile, double gold medallist in the Games, Darien Lum hoped he would be able to compete in more international competitions to enable him to represent the country in the Paralympics.
“I did not expect to win two gold medals. My coach urged me to go out there and do my best. After winning I immediately called by parents to inform them,” said the 20-year-old from Kajang. — Bernama