PARA athlete Abdul Latif Romly’s hopes of a memorable SEA Games debut were dashed by food poisoning.
Undeterred, he still competed in the men’s long jump and managed to finish seventh with a leap of 7.34m at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The 20-year-old Abdul Latif, who has a personal best of 7.60m, said that he suffered food poisoning on Wednesday.
“Every time I ate something, I had to run to the toilet. I’ve had to rely on liquids. I only did five of the six jumps in the competition today (yesterday).
“Despite my condition, I still tried my best to win a medal.
“I’m unhappy with my performance as I was looking forward to a good outing at the KL Games,” said Abdul Latif, who won golds at the Rio Paralympics last September and the World Para Athletics Championships in London last month.
Vietnam’s Bui Van Dong won the gold yesterday with a leap of 7.83m, followed by Indonesia’s Suwandi Wijaya (7.78m) and Filipino Janry Ubas (7.75m).
There was better news in women’s high jump when Yap Sean Yee ended Malaysia’s 28-year medal drought by winning a bronze.
She rewrote her national record by two centimetres when she cleared 1.83m – erasing her old mark of 1.81m set at a meet in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Three athletes – Sean Yee, Vietnam’s Duong Thi Viet Anh and Singapore’s Michelle Sng Suat Li – cleared 1.83m, but the Vietnamese won the gold on countback and Michelle took the silver.
The last Malaysian woman high jumper to win a SEA Games medal was Noraishah Ismail, who won a bronze 28 years ago at KL 1989.
“I was under a lot of stress because I finished empty-handed in the last two editions of the SEA Games. There was also pressure on me to end the 28-year medal drought.
“I’m happy to win a medal and break my national record for the second time this year.
“I will take a short break from competitions before focusing on qualifying for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast,” said the 22-year-old human development and information technology second-year student of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Meanwhile, sprinter Khairul Hafiz Jantan will skip today’s men’s 4x100m final with a thigh injury.SEA Games 2017