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‘That Driver Has Destroyed Us’ – Paralympics Athlete

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KUALA LUMPUR – Two potential Asean Para Games gold medals are now in jeopardy after Malaysia’s para cycling squad were involved in a hit-and-run accident this morning.

National cycling coach Johari Nayan was putting the final touches to his two prized tandem prospects when all five were knocked down by a pickup truck while training near Batu Arang at about 11am.

While Johari, who was conducting a motorpacing session with both his road race tandems, escaped with abrasions after his motorcycle was hit, his four riders were not so lucky.

Mohd Nor Rizuan Zainal, 31, tandem pilot for Khairul Azwan Wahab, 25; Nur Syafiq Suhaimy, 19, tandem pilot for Khairul Nizam Mohd Ali, 23; are all at the Sungai Buloh Hospital with broken limbs.

Nor Rizuan, a Royal Malaysian Navy man, came off the worst with suspected spinal injuries, according to assistant coach Iqbal Sokri.

Nor Rizuan and Khairul Azwan, who had represented the country at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro last year, were hot favourites for the individual time trial gold medal in the Asean Para Games, scheduled to begin in Kuala Lumpur next week.

Youngster Nur Syafiq and his blind stoker Khairul Nizam had targeted the gold in the tandem road race, in their Asean Para Games debut.

“This driver has just destroyed us in a split second. I really can’t imagine this happening,” said a distraught Johari, 42.

“Now we are just praying the injuries aren’t as severe and the riders can come back. Our Asean Para Games road events plans are destroyed by this,” he added. – NST

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