Shot putter Ziyad Zolkefli and triple jumper Muhd Hakimi Ismail are in upbeat mood for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games after becoming fathers for the first time.
The 27-year-old Ziyad, who broke his own record with a throw of 17.29m to win gold in the F20 (learning disability) at the World Para Athletics Championships in London last month, is now the proud father of a baby girl.
His wife, Zafira Mohd Nasir, gave birth on Tuesday, but they have yet to name their child.
On July 24, 2015 Singapore SEA Games gold medallist Hakimi’s wife, Sharifah Mastiara, gave birth to a baby boy.
The 26-year-old Hakimi has named his son Muhammad Ayden Matiin.
Ziyad, who will be competing with able-bodied athletes at the KL Games for the first time, has described the last two weeks as being “the best moments of my life”.
“I’m delighted to be the father of a beautiful baby girl. I’m feeling on top of the world,” said Ziyad.
“I must thank God for the double happiness – breaking my own national record to win gold in the world meet in London and becoming a father.
“It feels really good to be the world and Olympic champion,” added Ziyad, who won gold in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics last September.
Ziyad said that the birth of his daughter has motivated him to break his national record in the SEA Games to win gold.
“I want to create history in the SEA Games by becoming the first para athlete to win medal in the SEA Games,” said Ziyad, who beat able-bodied athletes to the gold in the Thailand Open with a throw of 17.03m in Bangkok in June.
Hakimi is just as delighted and proud to become a dad.
“I’m relieved that my wife has given birth to our first child. I have a family now.
“I believe that the arrival of my son will bring me luck and happiness in the SEA Games.
“I’ve recovered from my ankle injury and ready to retain the gold,” said Hakimi, who holds the SEA Games record of 16.76m set en route to winning gold in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games.
Hakimi is confident of a good showing in the KL Games after leaping 16.33m to clinch gold in the Malaysian Open at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last month.