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Rocky start for Malaysian contingent at Tokyo Paralympic Games

0 month ago, 25-Aug-2021

Nur Syaiful said he had to use a plaster on his left shoulder and swim in pain after sustaining an injury last Saturday before being disqualified after judges informed him that the use of plasters was not allowed during competition. – Bernama photo

TOKYO (Aug 25): The Malaysian contingent had a rocky start to the Tokyo Paralympic Games after two athletes suffered setbacks today.

National swimmer Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkaflis dream of qualifying for the final of the 200-metre mens freestyle S5 (physical disability) was shattered when he was disqualified in the first heat on a technical issue this morning.

To make matters worse, Nur Syaiful actually had a chance of breaking the Asian record of 2 minutes, 58.11 seconds set by Thai swimmer Phuchit Aingchaiyaphum in Melbourne, Australia last year after finishing fifth with a time of 2:56.78s.

The 26-year-old Sarawakian said he had to use a plaster on his left shoulder and swim in pain after sustaining an injury last Saturday before being disqualified after judges informed him that the use of plasters was not allowed during competition.

Nur Syaiful, who suffered physical disability after being involved in an accident in 2012, swore to make up for the disappointment if he is allowed to compete in the 100m mens freestyle S5 event at 9 am tomorrow (10 am Malaysian time) at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.

Spanish swimmer Antoni Ponce Bertran won the heat with a time of 2:33.73s.

The event was won by Italys Francesco Bocciardo, who clocked 2:26.76s in the final to take gold, while Antoni only managed to win silver (2:35.20s) and Brazillian Daniel de Faria Dias, bronze (2:38.71s).

Meanwhile, another Malaysian athlete, Chee Chaoming, who competed in the table tennis TT9 (physical disability) event, could not overcome Italian Mohamed Kalem, losing his first Group C mens singles qualifying round match.

Mohamed was on fire, taking only 20 minutes to beat the 23-year-old Malaysian 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Chaoming, the 2018 Para Asian Games gold medallist, will have a chance to make amends when he takes on Joshua Stacey from Great Britain tomorrow morning before completing the qualifiers against Australian Lin Ma in the afternoon, all for a chance of advancing to the next stage.

In other developments, Australian athlete Paige Greco celebrated victory in grand style when she not only won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympic Games but also smashed her own world record in her qualifying round today.

Paige won the 3,000m womens C3 (physical disability) track cycling event at the Izu Velodrome with a time of 3:50.815s.

Paige beat Wang Xiaomei from China, who won silver with a time of 3:54.975s, while German cyclist Denise Schindler secured the bronze with a time of 3:55.120s.

The Tokyo Paralympic Games, which officially began last night, will end on Sept 5. – Bernama





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