Long jumper Latif may bring a third gold

latifKUALA LUMPUR: Long jump parathlete Abdul Latif Romly may deliver Malaysia’s third gold medal tonight at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

Latif will be one of the favourites for gold as he won the event at the World Championships in Doha last year.

In a media interview, National Sports Council director general Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said he was optimistic.

He said he hoped that the achievements of Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi and Ziyad Zolkefli would spur the Malaysian contingent to a third gold.

Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi delivered Malaysia’s first Paralympic gold by winning the men’s 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) sprint in 12.07 seconds, a new Paralympic record. Muhd Ziyad Zolkefli, who took the gold medal in men’s shot put F20 (intellectual disability), was outstanding as he broke the world record twice en route to a final throw of 16.84m, said Shapawi.

“I am very happy that the efforts that have been put into this programme has paid off. We did expect one gold from the track and field event but to win two gold in one day is a very special achievement.

“I told the athletes to go all out and give it everything they have when I met them before the games,” he said. Ridzuan, Ziyad, and Latiff had been among the front runners in their events over the past few seasons.”

Ziyad won the bronze at the London Paralympics four years ago, His first throw of 16.40m on Saturday broke the former record of 16.29m set by Todd Hodgetts of Australia at the London Games.