Strong performance at the 11th ASEAN Para Games
Image: Para Athletics (Singapore)
Yesterday, 3 August 2022, was the last day for Singapore’s athletes in the Athletics events at the 11th ASEAN Para Games.
During three days of high-adrenaline competition, Singapore’s para-athletes took home one gold and two bronze medals in one of their best performances since 2005 in Manila. There were three personal bests renewed and three national records broken.
A highlight of the day was Muhammad Diroy Noordin‘s win in the F40/41 Men Shot Put event at 9.91 metres, his season’s best distance. He competed in the same event at APG2017, Kuala Lumpur, where he won silver. There was a significant improvement in the distance and medal colour this year. The spexScholar has come a long way since he was inducted into para sports under the category of short stature in 2014, and he is thrilled with the achievements he has made. A gold medal would be the key to scaling his performance to new heights. In his F40/41 Men Javelin Throw event, he came in third for the bronze the day before he won the gold. It is an event he hadn’t practiced since he had taken silver in APG2017.
It was a dream come true for Maisarah Mohamed Hassan to win the bronze medal in the T36/37 Women 200m event. It was the second time in a year that she renewed her personal best time (37.23s). The sweetest part was when she also broke the national record for the 200m event which had stood since 2005. Adding a bronze medal to this year’s Games was a bittersweet experience. A day before her bronze medal event, she was hoping to do well in her 100m event. It was her close rival, Suphatsara (from Thailand), who finished 3rd by a whisker. Maisarah found her revenge when, in the final 10 metres of the 200m race, she swooped past Suphatsara’s fatigued legs for the 3rd place instead.
For Muhammad Nur Ariq Yaakub, his debut in this edition of the APG would develop him into a better athlete. After breaking his national records (53.00s) for the third time this year, Nur Ariq looked disappointed when the T20 Men 400m Final did not go as planned. His performance during the heats, which led to the breaking of records, was stellar despite his disappointment in the final run. Now ASEAN is aware of this rising star.
After barely a year on the para sport scene, James Ethan Ang Kai Meng has shown promising performances. With 52.95 seconds, he broke his previous personal best in the T13 Men 400m, which had stood for three years. It was an encouraging achievement, especially when he saw the high standards set by all ASEAN competitors in para-athletics events. Participating in the Games has resulted in expectations that he must understand if he is to improve.
As a debutant at the ASEAN Para Games, Siti Nurhayati Ali Aksar Khan was able to surpass her personal best time (70.09s). A huge physical competition did not prevent the sportsgirl of the year from placing 4th. It was a very good performance by Siti Nurhayati.
Lastly, Suhairi Suhani, who once jumped for silver at APG2017 in the T20 Men Long Jump event, was disappointed. This years’ experience was something he wished he could forget. The distance he managed to jump was 5.78 metres (4th place), which was far from his own expectations. He had an awkward sensation in his groin prior to the event, which contributed to his poor performance. Despite looking disappointed, he will come back stronger.
When asked to comment on the Games’ experience for the para-athletics team, Coach Muhamad Hosni acknowledged, “Everyone in para-athletics exceeded expectations. The fact that this game was called up at the eleventh hour and each athlete came here at their best and gave their very best. Each of them had to compete against five or more experienced competitors, which is a remarkable accomplishment. The future of three debutants will be exciting as they record the most significant achievements of their lives. Medallists demonstrating their true potential & grit.”
“This year’s ASEAN Para Games was an exciting outing for the para-athletics team. Para Athletics (Singapore), PAS, is facing a challenge in attracting new generations of para-athletes to track and field, one of the oldest sports in world history. When local candidates decide to join the sport, they typically ask: Will it be tiring?” said Jaffa Mohamed Salleh, Vice President of PAS who is also the coach for the physical impairment group.
He added, “It is often misunderstood that track and field is a difficult sport to master. The majority of people don’t know that it has its roots in human prehistory as running, jumping, and throwing are natural and universal expressions of human physicality. A prerequisite is not required for entry. For those interested in para-athletics (aka track & field), please contact us for more information.”
On Sunday, 7 August 2022, the para-athletics team will return to Singapore along with the main contingent at Changi Airport Terminal 2 via flight SQ8053, ETA 1950h.
For more information on their return flight, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to view related posts and photos on PAS’ Facebook page.