KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — The Malaysian contingent to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have turned their disabilities into possibilities to create history by winning three gold medals and a bronze.
Malaysia’s chef-de-mission (CDM) Dr Ang Kean Koo told Bernama, their achievements had inspired able bodied individuals to continue fighting towards their dreams.
“Personally as the CDM, I am very proud and happy with the overall results in Rio, especially with the athletics team.
“Our cycling, sailing and ping pong athletes performance were outstanding as well, more than I could ever hope for.
“As for the rest of the events like powerlifting, swimming, archery and wheelchair tennis, we will put more effort in training them to get better results in the upcoming Paralympic Games,” he said.
Dr Ang noted the athletes have shown that they were truly the best Malaysian Paralympic athletes with their outstanding performances.
With their achievement, they have proved that if they put in their effort and determination, by setting achievable target, they would be successful.
“We hope this games will inspire other Malaysians with disabilities to never give up on life and to empower themselves in showing with their true colours.
“I would like to thank all the members and coaches, especially the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC), the National Sports Council (NSC), and the National Sports Institute (NSI) for giving their utmost cooperation,” he added.
Malaysia’s first gold medal in Rio via Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi was the first since the 1972 Paralympics Games in Heidelberg, Germany.
Mohamad Ridzuan made the historic feat in the men's 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) event after clocking 12.07 seconds to rewrite the previous Paralympic record of 12.25s set by Roman Pavlyk of Ukraine in Beijing in 2008.
The 2012 London Paralympics bronze medallist Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli created a new world record in the men’s shot put F20 (intellectual disability) with a
throw of 16.84m to double the country's gold medal haul.
Abdul Latif Romly continued the country's golden feat by securing the gold after breaking the world record in the long jump T20 (intellectual disability) category with a 7.60m jump in his fifth attempt.
Siti Noor Radiah Ismail presented the contingent with the a bronze medal via the T20 (intellectual disability) after recorded a jump of 5.20m in her third attempt to break her Asia Para Games record of 5.10m in Incheon, South Korea.
With the three gold and a bronze, Malaysia are ranked in 36th place in the medal tally among 170 countries taking part in the Games.
China are in first place with 107 gold, 81 silver and 51 bronze, followed by Great Britain (64-39-44) and Ukraine (41-37-39). — Bernama