‘Ya! We knew Yaya would deliver’


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 Sep 2016

Family pride: Ismail holding up a framed photo of Siti Noor Radiah with her bronze medal. Looking on proudly is Siti Noor Radiah’s mum Ruzimah Bazib looks on proudly at their home in Johor.

SEGAMAT: For the family of Siti Noor Radiah Ismail, it was no surprise when she won the bronze medal in the long jump at the Rio Paralympics.

They have never doubted her ability to deliver a medal.

“I believe that her achievements that brought more glory to the country stems from her never-give-up attitude.

“We always knew what she was capable of,” her father Ismail Shawal, 55, told The Star.

Siti Noor Radiah, 23, leapt to 5.20m on Thursday to win the bronze in the T20 (intellectual disability) long jump final at the Paralympics.

She broke the Asian record of 5.10m that she had previously set.

Ismail said his entire family was proud of her achievements.

He said that Yaya, as she is fondly known to the family, was someone who had always wanted to strive for the better.

“Since she was in primary school, Yaya had always shown interest in sports,” he said.

Ismail, a retired army commando posted at the Sungai Udang camp in Malacca, said he would take her to sporting events organised by the armed forces back then.

“She often brought home gold medals for 1,500m swimming competitions,” he recalled.

The father-of-seven said that Yaya, his fifth child, had shown no sign of nervousness before leaving for Rio.

“I told her not to think about winning a gold, silver or bronze. Just give your best and the rest will follow. True enough, our prayers have been answered,” he said.

As a former commando, Ismail believes that discipline is the key to success.

“In training I told her that she must be sincere and give her all. If she doesn’t give her best she will know and feel it,” said Ismail, who is now a rubber tapper.

Siti Noor Radiah’s mother Ruzimah Bazib, 51, said their family watched Yaya’s performance online on Thursday night.

“Our oldest son in Malacca and daughter staying in Johor Baru were also watching, but we could only see bits and pieces of her performance.

“But we saw most of the medal ceremony and when she was awarded the bronze,” said Ruzimah.

She added that her daughter had been through many difficulties and had injured her waist when she was younger, preventing her from competing in the sprint events.

“She can’t participate in too many events now because of her injury, but she kept training and all her hard work and perseverance has paid off,” she said.

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