Paralympics: Dad not surprised daughter won bronze

Siti Noor RadiahMUAR: The father of Siti Noor Radiah was not at all surprised that she clinched a bronze medal at the Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Siti Radiah, 23, won a bronze for the country in the women’s T20 (intellectual disability) category long jump event at the Olympic Stadium in Rio yesterday.

She jumped a distance of 5.20m in her third attempt and in the process rewrote her own Asian record of 5.10m set at the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea in 2014.

He father Ismail Shawal, 55, said his daughter’s attitude was one of never being satisfied with being “just average” and hence always strived to do better.

“She is a very determined person, that is why her feat comes as no surprise to the family because we know her capabilities,” he told Bernama today.

Fondly called ‘Yaya’ by family members, Ismail said she had already shown a keen interest in sports when she was in primary school.

Then she had often accompanied her father, a former commando based at the Sungai Udang Camp in Malacca, to sports events organised by the Malaysian Armed Forces.

According to Ismail, who has now settled down in Batu 7, Jalan Muar-Segamat, Siti Noor Radiah also had often visualised herself winning the gold medal in the 1,500m swimming event.

“Maybe, that is where Yaya got the spirit to be a born winner and Allhamdullilah, with the prayers of family members and Malaysians, she finally won a medal.

“I am overjoyed,” he said, adding that Yaya never shied away from sharing her challenges with the family.

Ismail said he hoped that Yaya’s success would inspire others with special children to “chase their dreams.”

“Children with different abilities are special. If given the opportunity and encouragement, Insya-Allah they can even outshine normal people,” he said.