PETALING JAYA: Qabil Ambak has achieved a first for Malaysia as the first equestrian athlete to participate in the Olympics.
Qabil got the invite from International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to participate in the Olympics individual dressage competition.
Qabil was the reserve rider, but was promoted to the invitation list after one of the two Asian riders who qualified earlier withdrew.
The 41-year-old multiple Asian Games medallist finished third in the Asia-Oceania rankings when the qualification campaign for dressage ended two years ago.
Equestrian Association of Malaysia president Syed Omar Syed Abu Bakar AlMohdzar posted a congratulatory message on Facebook to Qabil on his selection to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games.
"This is not only a milestone for the national sport, but for our country as it is the first time a Malaysian is represented in equestrian events at the Olympics Games.
"The Olympics provides us with a special occasion to unite in so many ways, especially given the global challenges faced amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are grateful that all parties have worked together to make the Olympic Games in Tokyo possible.
"By being part of the Malaysian Olympic squad, Qabil is a role model for the equestrian sport and for all Malaysians. “We wish him the greatest success and look forward to cheering him on," he said.