Ziyad retains Asian Para Games gold in shot put to complete unprecedented hattrick

24 Oct 2023 07:49pm
National para shot put ace and defending champion Ziyad Zolkefli completed an unprecedented hattrick of gold medals after retaining the men’s shot put gold at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, here today.
National para shot put ace and defending champion Ziyad Zolkefli completed an unprecedented hattrick of gold medals after retaining the men’s shot put gold at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, here today.
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HANGZHOU - National para shot put ace and defending champion Ziyad Zolkefli completed an unprecedented hattrick of gold medals after retaining the men’s shot put gold at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, here today.

The gold medal won by Ziyad was the third gold won by the Malaysian contingent after swimming and track cycling had contributed a gold each in yesterday’s and today’s competitions.

The 33-year-old who had won the T20 category (Intellectual disability) gold medal at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Para Asian Games clinched his third gold medal in the event that has now been renamed F20.

In the shot put event held at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium, Ziyad hurled his throw to a distance of 16.65m in his third attempt, leaving his competitors gasping for second and third places.

The Selangor-born shot putter was almost three metres ahead of team mate Mohamad Aliff Mohamad Awi who took the silver with a throw of 13.75m while Thailand’s Sanepoot Boonkong claimed the bronze with a distance of 13.67m.

"I am very satisfied with my performance and victory today and I dedicate the gold medal to the people of Malaysia. I am also proud to have completed a hattrick of wins (gold) in the APG,” he told Bernama, here.

With the mission to win gold in Hangzhou achieved, Ziyad who has secured a spot for the 2024 Paris Paralympics on merit after winning a silver medal at the 2023 World Championships in Paris, will be gunning for another gold medal outing in Paris and bury the ghost of the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

At the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, Ziyad, winner of the gold medal in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil, had won the gold medal but following a protest from Ukraine that he had reported late to the call room, he was disqualified.

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The gold medal was later awarded to the shot putter from Ukraine. - BERNAMA