INCHEON – Malaysia ruled supreme in the women’s T20 long jump of the Asian Para Games when Siti Noor Radiah Ismail and Siti Nooriasah Mohamad Ariffin swept the gold and silver at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium.
It was the first gold medal of the Incheon Asian Para Games for the Malaysian contingent while 2012 London Paralympics bronze medallist Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli as expected contributed the second gold medal for Malaysia from the men’s F20 shot put.
Siti Noor Radiah, currently ranked number one in Asia, restored order by leaping to a distance of 5.10m to beat her team mate and namesake Siti Nooriasah by a mere 0.05m difference.
National paralympics head coach R. Jeganathan, who once coached the country’s middle and long distance ace M. Ramachandran, was happy with the performance of his charges.
“I had expected Radiah to win the event but Nooriasah, despite just joining the squad after a six-year break, managed to perform exceptionally well…we did not expect such a terrific performance from her.
“Radiah is still young and can be moulded into a world champion one day. Now my main focus is to prepare her for the Olympics in 2016,” he said after the prize presentation ceremony.
Jeganathan hoped Siti Noor Radiah would contribute a gold medal in the International Paralympic Council World Championships in Doha, next year.
Malaysia now has two gold, three silver and five bronze medals.
Ziyad meanwhile, came close to renewing his personal best mark of 15.32m but missed the distance by a mere 0.01m after managing a distance of 15.31m.
“I was a little disappointed for not being able to renew my personal best but happy with the gold medal effort,” said Ziyad who has also set his sights on winning a gold medal at the International Paralympic Council World Championships in Doha next year and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Iran’s Hasaan Dehghani took the silver medal in the competition that featured only two competitors, something which is common in Paralympic sports. – BERNAMA