Flag bearer Ziyad all fired up for Para Asean Games

And last year, he showed his prowess once again when he became the world champion in the same category in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France.

He nailed the gold with his best distance of 15.32m, even performing better than world record holder Todd Hodgetts of Australia.

Ziyad, who is back on his feet after struggling with a knee injury two months ago, said he was looking forward to a good showing.

“I was quite nervous today when I received the flag from the minister. There is a heavy burden being the flag bearer; much is expected from me and my team-mates,” admitted Ziyad.

“But we have worked very hard and with so much of support and encouragement from all, we will surely be out to meet the 50-gold medal target.

“In athletics alone, the team is expected to deliver 32 gold medals. I will be taking part in three events - shot putt, discuss and javelin. I won two gold medals and one silver at the last Games (in Solo, Indonesia, in 2011) and I will do my best to do better this time.

“I am aiming to break my personal best in two events - my pet event shot putt and the discus.”

“Two months ago, my preparations took a blow when I picked up a knee injury. It makes it even harder to train but I refuse to give up. I went for treatment and the knee is in better shape now.”

If Ziyad wins three gold medals, he is set to take home RM40,000 as an incentive from the government. Khairy made a decision last year to reward both able and disabled athletes the same amount of incentive for all Games.

For the Para Asean Games and SEA Games, a gold medal is worth RM20,000. The subsequent gold medal won by the same athlete is worth RM10,000.

For the record, Malaysia will be taking part in 205 events in 11 out of 12 sports contested at the Para Asean Games. The 50 gold medals targeted are from athletics (32), swimming (6) table tennis (3), powerlifting (3), chess (2), archery (2) and boccia (2). The chef-de-mission is Datuk Zakaria Musa.

 

Sumber dari The Star

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