KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamed Ridzuan Puzi (pic) is the star of the Asian Para Games in Jakarta – and he will reap a RM240,000 reward for his three gold-medal feat.
The 31-year-old came to Jakarta with hamstring and groin injuries, which he suffered three weeks before the Games but never let it affect his performance.
Ridzuan showed true grit and determination to win golds in the men’s 100m T36 (cerebral palsy), 400m and long jump events.
He broke the world record in the 100m by clocking a personal best of 11.87 and bettered his Games record in the long jump event with his best-ever leap of 5.49m. He also posted a personal best of 59.36 in the 400m.
He has shown vast improvement as four years ago in Incheon, he won only one gold in the long jump and two silvers in the 100m and 200m.
The National Sports Council (NSC) offer RM80,000 for every gold under their incentive programme and Ridzuan is expected to receive more for breaking the world and Games records.
Rio Paralympic gold medallist Ridzuan is delighted to be a national hero.
“Breaking the world record (in 100m) is a big boost for my preparation for next year’s World Para Athletics Championships (in Dubai from Nov 7-15),” said Ridzuan.
“I like to thank national coach R. Jaganathan for helping me in training and giving me the motivation to achieve my best results in the Asian Para Games.
Jaganathan, the man behind the rise of athletics’ standard among para athletes, was proud of Ridzuan’s achievement.
“I’ve been coaching him since 2010 and he is one dedicated and committed athlete, who always gives his best in every competition,” said Jaganathan.
“My mission now is to help Ridzuan win the gold in the 100m in the World Championships next year.”
Jaganathan, who has been coaching since 2011, was happy with the overall performance and results in the Games.
“Our athletes shattered two world records, seven Games records, four Asian records and 11 athletes have also recorded their personal bests,” he said.
Abdul Latif Romly rewrote his own world record in the men’s long jump F20 (learning disability) with a jump of 7.64m, erasing the old mark of 7.60m he set en route to winning the gold in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
“This is the best-ever performance by our athletes in the track and field events in the Games, our programme has been successful,” said Jaganathan.
“We’ll continue with our programme to produce good results in the six legs of the IPC Para Championships. We need the full support of the NSC, NSI (National Sports Institute) and the government to produce world-class athletes,” said the dedicated coach.
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