Ziyad dedicates gold to pregnant wife, coach

01 Aug 2022 04:57pm
Ziyad dedicates gold medal to pregnant wife, coach and supporters - BERNAMA Photo
Ziyad dedicates gold medal to pregnant wife, coach and supporters - BERNAMA Photo
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SOLO - Ace Paralympian Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli dedicated the gold medal that he had won at the 11th ASEAN Para Games (APG) this morning, to his wife Zafira Nasir, who is expected to deliver their third child anytime soon.

Ziyad, 32, who delivered Malaysia's first gold medal of the games in the F20 shot put (intellectual impairment) category at the Manahan Stadium, here, said though his wife was expected to deliver anytime soon, he made the decision to participate in the games because he wanted to contribute a gold medal to the Malaysian contingent.

"I am aware that my wife will be delivering our third baby anytime soon but being here is a sacrifice I had wanted to make due to the call of duty. Now I want to dedicate this gold medal to my wife, my coach (Faizul Harun) and everyone who had supported me," said Ziyad who was in tears when he spoke.

The 2016 Rio Paralympics gold medallist and two-time world champion (2013, 2017) and Zafira currently have two children - a five-year-old girl (Zuhayrah Zafrah) and a boy Thariq Xavier (3).

He added that throughout his 12-year career as an athlete, this was the first time he had contributed the country's first gold medal.

The gold won today with a throw of 16.92m was Ziyad's fourth in four consecutive APG since 2013, while his teammate Mohamad Aliff Mohamad Awi made a one-two finish for Malaysia by clinching the silver medal with a throw of 13.46m.

"The battle for the silver was a close one and I was in a tight race with Thailand's Boonkong (13.29m) but Ziyad who had already won the gold, was motivating me all along. That gave me some extra strength to push harder.

"I have been battling with a knee and hip injury for almost two years but I will continue to participate in future events," said Mohamad Aliff. - BERNAMA

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