KUALA LUMPUR: Para athlete Nasharuddin Mohd muffed up a chance to earn monthly pension for life once; but not again.
The 25-year-old Nasharuddin could have secured monthly financial support from the government by winning a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics but he failed to advance into the final.
He wants to get it right at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Nasharuddin has already booked a ticket for the Paralympics after winning a gold medal in the men’s 400m T20 (intellectual impairment) at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. The time of 49.32 he posted is the Asian Games new record.
But things have gone down south for Nasharuddin since the Asiad.
He failed to win a medal at the World Para Championships in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2019.
“I want to win a medal at the Paralympics to get a monthly pension for the rest of my life. I will retire one day and I need a monthly income to survive,” he said.
Under the Paralympics incentive scheme, a gold medal winner gets RM5,000 monthly for life, followed by RM3,000 (silver) and RM2,000 (bronze).
He said injury had hampered his progress. He hurt his ankle at the last world meet.
“My condition is better and I hope to clock 48.00 seconds in Tokyo,” he said.
“I’ve resumed training in Bukit Jalil last month and I will spend the next four months on conditioning,” added Nasharuddin, who will take part in few legs of the IPC Grand Prix next year.
National para athletics chief coach R. Jaganathan said nothing was impossible for Nasharuddin.
“He is a dedicated athlete who has progressed in competitions since making his debut seven years ago. I’m optimistic he can realise his dream of a podium finish in Tokyo,” said Jaganathan.
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