TOKYO, Sept 3 — Tomorrow will be the Malaysian contingent’s last chance to meet the three-gold medal target at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
With no Malaysian set to compete on the final day on Sunday (September 5), all hopes will be on these three athletes, namely Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi and Abdul Latif Romly, who won gold medals at the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro, and six-time world champion shuttler Cheah Liek Hou.
Mohamad Ridzuan will be in action in the men’s 100m T36 (physical impairment) final, Abdul Latif in men’s long jump T20 (physical impairment) final and six-time world badminton champion Cheah Liek Hou in men’s singles SU5 (physical impairment) semi-finals.
Malaysia have already bagged one gold medal through powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin in the men’s 72-kilogramme (kg) event on Saturday while his team-mate Jong Yee Khie won silver in the 107kg on Monday.
Yesterday, national boccia player Chew Wei Lun bagged Malaysia’s second silver medal when he lost to defending champion David Smith of Great Britain 4-2 in the mixed individual BC1 (physical impairment) category.
Mohamad Ridzuan qualified for the 100m final after clocking 12.06 seconds (s) in Heat Two of the first round at the Olympic Stadium here today.
The 33-year-old Mohamad Ridzuan, who is more fondly known as “Dek Wan”, told Bernama that he is confident of defending the gold he won in Rio in 2016 when he competes in tomorrow’s final at about 10.38am local time (9.38am Malaysian time).
Long jumper Abdul Latif is then set to be in action at 7pm local time (6pm Malaysian time) as he too seeks to win his second straight Paralympic gold medal.
Meanwhile, Liek Hou has the chance to make history by becoming among the earliest medal winners in badminton, which is being contested in the Paralympics for the first time.
Liek Hou, who topped Group B with an unbeaten record after completing his fixtures by defeating Japan’s Taiyo Imai 21-19, 21-12 this afternoon, will be in action in the semi-finals at the Yoyogi National Stadium tomorrow.
The world number two will take on Taiwan’s Jen Yu Fang in the last four at 10.30am local time (9.30am Malaysian time).
Liek Hou had defeated Yu Fang 21-13, 21-9 in their Group B clash yesterday.
The final and third-placing matches will be held at 4pm local time (3pm Malaysian time) tomorrow.
Meanwhile, rain and strong wind conditions blew another Malaysian medal prospect, recurve archer S. Suresh off course after he was eliminated in the first round at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field this morning.
Suresh, the 2019 world champion, was shown the exit after losing 2-6 to Bato Tsydendorzhiev of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
Over at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, national swimmer Brenda Anellia Larry of Sabah failed to make the final of the women’s 50m backstroke SB4 (physical impairment) category today.
The 16-year-old finished fifth in Heat One in 59.33s to end up 11th out of 15 swimmers from the two heats today. — Bernama