GLASGOW: Para-sport athlete Jong Yee Khie came to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games with an open mind.
And the 25-year-old Kuching-born powerlifter will leave his maiden Games today with a big smile.
Yee Khie did Malaysia proud by winning the bronze medal in the men’s above 72.1kg powerlifting category – and add to the country’s overall medal tally.
Yee Khie, who lost the use of his legs after a motorcycle accident in Kuching in 2005, lifted a total of 178kg to win the only medal for Malaysia in the disabled category (para-sport).
Ten athletes took part in the event and another Malaysian – Mohd Shahril Mohd Saad, 28 – finished fifth with a lift of 168.8kg.
Nigeria’s Abdulazeez Ibrahim (197kg) won the gold while India’s Rajinder Rahelu (180.5kg) took the silver.
Yee Khie, who won the gold medal in the Para SEA Games in Myanmar in January, said he was surprised with his achievement.
“It was my first Commonwealth Games and I wasn’t sure about the strength of the other nine lifters. I was surprised to win the bronze medal,” said Yee Khie, who took up the sport in 2008.
“I did the nation proud by winning the only medal in the para-sport. It has also boosted my morale to continue training harder to win more medals for Malaysia,” said Yee Khie, who is a full-time athlete.
Yee Khie, who finished 10th in the World Para Games in Dubai in April, thanked his parents for encouraging him to take up the sport after the accident.
“I dedicate this medal to my parents and to all Malaysian athletes. It also feels nice that my medal is added to the overall medal tally of the Commonwealth Games,” said Yee Khie, who will feature in the Asian Games para-sport in Incheon in October.
G. Mohan, the athlete development and community officer of the Malaysian Paralympic Council, said that they are proud of Yee Khie’s achievement.
“Nine Malaysian athletes took part in the para-sport and he is the only one to return with a medal,” he said.