SOLO (INDONESIA): Para athlete Mohammad Yusshazwan Yusuf(pix) has shown that losing both his legs due to bone cancer is no obstacle to creating history for Malaysia at the 2022 ASEAN Para Games (APG) here today.
Mohammad Yusshazwan, who has been disabled since he was five, together with his partner Abu Samah Borhan won Malaysia’s first ever wheelchair tennis gold medal by beating Indonesians Kevin Sanjaya-Agus Fitriadi 6-4, 6-3 in a gruelling two-hour match in hot weather at Lapangan Tenis Manahan here.
“I’m so proud of this achievement. We were 100 per cent focused because we wanted to make history, so today we managed to do it for the country and our families,” Mohammad Yusshazwan, 27, told Bernama.
Today’s gold is a great consolation for him after having to settle for the silver medal in the singles event when he lost to Klongrua Suthi from Thailand in yesterday’s final.
Malaysia’s best achievement in the doubles event was a silver by Abu Samah-Ariffahmi Zaquan Ariffin, and a bronze by Mohammad Yusshazwan- Firdaus Ibrahim in the 2017 edition.
Meanwhile, former 2017 Commonwealth Games singles champion Abu Samah said today’s match had not been easy as they faced tough rivals who had the home crowd backing them.
“We had won the silver and bronze previously, so today we wanted the gold and succeeded,” the 37-year-old athlete said. He had been wheelchair bound ever since suffering a spinal cord injury from an accident in 2006.
In other events, Jennahtul Fahmi Ahmad Jennah won the men’s single table tennis Class 11 (intellectual disability) event, beating fellow Malaysian Mohd Hazlin Abdullah 11-6, 12-10, 12-10 in the finals.
“The game was tough, maybe I was lucky to win. Matches between us are always competitive, you can’t play around, if you slip up, you might lose even if you’re leading.
“I’m thankful to have a good day today. This gold is for my family who have always supported me. I will be preparing for the Cambodia APG and the Asian Para Games next,” he said.
In other sports, the national swimming squad had a great day today, adding another two gold medals courtesy of Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli in the men’s 100 metre (m) freestyle S5 (physical disability) and Abd Halim Mohammad in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB8 (physical disability), and a silver by Carmen Lim in the women’s 50m freestyle S8 (physical disability).-Bernama