Bonnie and Siti Noor Iasah to be flag bearers in Tokyo


KUALA LUMPUR: National powerlifting ace Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and para athlete Siti Noor Iasah Mohd Ariffin have been chosen to be the flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Aug 24.

Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) president Datuk Seri Megat D Shahriman Zaharudin said both the athletes selected symbolised the racial diversity in Malaysia, while their previous achievements were also taken into consideration.

“Bonnie is a Bidayuh athlete from Sarawak while Siti Noor Iasah is a female Malay athlete.

“So, although Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious country, we want to show the world that we are all united,” he said.

Megat, who is also Malaysia’s chef de mission for the Tokyo Paralympics, said Bonnie was chosen based on his reputation as a world champion and the holder of the world record in the over-72kg category while Siti Noor Iasah finished fourth in the women’s 400m T20 (learning disability) category at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Meanwhile, Megat said the Malaysian contingent’s preparation was running smoothly and reminded the para athletes to always take care of their health and to comply with the standard operating procedures set by the organisers.

He also hoped that the para athletes would prepare themselves mentally and physically to compete in their respective events as well as to quickly familiarise themselves with the environment in Japan.

Apart from Bonnie and Siti Noor Iasah, three other athletes - 2016 Rio gold medallist Ziyad Zolkefli (athletics); 2019 world champion S. Suresh (archery) and 2017 Asean Para Games gold medallist Abu Samah Borhan (wheelchair tennis) – would also take part in the opening ceremony march past.

Megat, two medical officers and two officials from the secretariat, are also expected to take part in the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. — Bernama

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