KUALA LUMPUR: Para shot putter Mohd Aliff Mohd Awi’s dreams of making his debut in the Tokyo Paralympics next year are as good as over – he tore a ligament in his right knee last month and has to undergo surgery.
The Negri Sembilan athlete, who featured in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) last November, will need about six months to recover.
The 23-year-old said that he went for a medical check-up at the National Sports Institute (NSI) last month and was referred to a private specialist who advised him to go under the knife.
“I will be out of action for six months and I am only expected to return in February next year.
“I doubt I can qualify for Tokyo as I need to undergo conditioning for a few months before I can start competing,” said Aliff, who did a personal best of 13.41m to finish 12th in the T20 (intellectual impairment) in the world meet in Dubai.
The qualifying mark for the Paralympics is 15m but he can still qualify if he is ranked among the top 16 in the world by end of June next year.
Aliff, who won silver in the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta with a throw of 13.09m, is now ranked 15th in the world.
Aliff admitted that many would overtake him by next year when the qualifiers are decided. “It’s sad that I will miss the boat to Tokyo because of the injury.
“It is frustrating because I was expecting to do much better in competitions this year.
“I hope to come back stronger next year.
“My new goal now is the Asean Para Games in Hanoi next year in December,” said Aliff.
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