Break for paralympian heroes at KL SEA Games

By Harris Rajahdin and R. Loheswar

Ziyad can become the first para-athlete to participate in the SEA Games. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Ziyad Zolkefli and Abd Latif Romly are set to create history as first paralympians to represent Malaysia in the SEA Games after they were confirmed in the preliminary list submitted by Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) yesterday.

Pending any last minute changes to the final list to be confirmed by June 30, shot putter Ziyad and long jumper Latiff are set to join their able bodied compatriots for the first time at the Asean biennial multi-sports event.

The KL SEA Games will be held on August 19 to August 30.

MAF head coach Zainal Abas, when asked to comment on the duo’s selection, said: “Yes, they have already been confirmed in the SEA Games squad a long time ago.”

Ziyad, 27 and Latif, 20 put Malaysia on the map after their record breaking exploits at the Rio Paralympics last year and ended with a gold each.

It was the first time Malaysia have golds in either the Paralympics or their able bodied equivalent the Olympics.

The burly Ziyad from Gombak created a world record in the men’s shot put T20 (intellectual disability) with a distance of 16.84m.

Lanky Latiff from Kampung Paya Kelubi in Perlis was the first paralympian to be named the 2016 National Sportsman of the Year after his gold medal leap of 7.60m.

In doing so, he broke the world record three times in the process in the T20 (intellectual) disability.

The federation named 70 athletes for their assault on the lion’s share of the 46 gold medals on offer during the Games at the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) deadline for the “long list” submission yesterday.

All individual sports associations are required to submit their list by tomorrow to ensure no eligible athlete misses out on the chance to fly the flag for Malaysian contingent during the Games.

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