TOKYO, Aug 25 — National swimmer Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli missed the opportunity to advance to the men’s 200m freestyle S5 (physical disability) final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games here today.
National Sports Council (MSN) Paralympic Division director Mohd Sofian Hamzah confirmed that the Sarawak athlete, who is making his debut in the prestigious games, had his participation cancelled due to a technical error in the first heat.
“Something Nur Syaiful did earlier, which was not anything serious, was not allowed at all in the event,” he told Bernama.
Spanish swimmer Antoni Ponce Betran topped the heat with a time of 2 minutes 33.73 seconds (s), followed by Brazil’s Daniel de Faria Dias in second place (2: 45.16s) and Dmitrii Cherniaev of the Russian Olympic Committee who clocked 2: 48.18s to take third place.
The best eight swimmers from the two qualifying heats make the cut for the final, scheduled to take place at 7.52 pm today (6.52pm Malaysian time).
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Nur Syaiful, who suffered deformity in both his legs after being involved in an accident at the age of 17, still has a chance to make up for his frustration as he has three more events after this.
He will be competing in the 50m freestyle S5, 100m freestyle S5 and 100m breaststroke in the SB4 (physical disability) category.
Apart from Nur Syaiful, Malaysia are also represented by two other swimmers, namely Jamery Siga in the S5 category and Brenda Anellia Larry who will compete in the S4 category (physical disability).
The Tokyo Paralympic Games, which officially opened last night, ends on Sept 5. — Bernama