Nurdin completes Malaysia's successful outing at Asian Para Games

KUALA LUMPUR: Nurdin Ibrahim concluded the Malaysian contingent's campaign at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games today with a bronze medal, bringing the total medal count to 39.

The 25-year-old won the men's 1500m T20 (intellectual impairment) bronze, clocking 4:19.95s at Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium.

Japan's Kenta Okawachi claimed the gold with a time of 4:05.12, followed by his compatriot Daisuke Nakagawa (4:06.35).

Interestingly, the Asian Para Games debutant also secured the final medal for Malaysia at the Asean Para Games in Phnom Penh in June, winning the 5,000m title.

"This has been one of the best years in my running career," said Kedah-born Nurdin today.

While he didn't surpass his personal best of 4:17.20, he was delighted to stand on the podium.

"Winning a medal in my first Asian Para Games is special, especially on the final day of the Games," he added.

In total, Malaysia won three gold, two silver, and four bronze medals in para-athletics.

Abdul Latif Romly and Ziyad Zolkefli successfully defended their gold in the men's long jump and shot put T20 categories, both securing qualification for the Paris Paralympics next year.

Ammar Aiman Nor Azmi was the star, setting a new Asian Para record of 47.60 in the men's 400m T20 event to claim the title.

Team manager Datuk R. Annamalai expressed satisfaction with the achievements in track and field.

"Ammar is set to qualify for the Paris Paralympics after breaking the Asian Para record.

"However, it was disappointing that veteran Ridzuan Puzi was disqualified in the men's 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) for a false start. Otherwise, he could have won a medal."

Annamalai said some events were combined with other categories, making it challenging for Malaysian athletes to win medals.

In total, Malaysia finished 12th among 28 countries, with a medal haul of seven gold, 15 silver, and 17 bronze.

China emerged as the overall champions with 214-167-140, followed by Iran (44-46-41) and Japan (42-49-59).

Chef de Mission K. M. Rajendran deemed the outing in Hangzhou a success, highlighting the small squad of 113 para-athletes, with half of them making their debuts.

"They fought hard and exceeded the contingent's target of 35 medals," he said.

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