National Paralympic Shot-Put Athlete Bags Bronze Medal at the 2023 SEA Games
BY: Michelle Liew
National athletic champion Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli has successfully won the bronze medal at the 2023 SEA Games under the F20 (intellectual disability) shot put category. With this victory, Muhammad Ziyad is confident that he will be able to achieve the gold medal at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, France.
Muhammad Ziyad is also proud that he was able to deliver a stellar performance in his fourth consecutive appearance at the SEA Games since the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
"Being able to compete for the fourth time at the age of 33 at the SEA Games is a motivation to make a name for myself at the 2024 Paralympic Games.
"I want to prove that the medal I can bring home the gold medal to Malaysia," he said at the Morodok Techo National Stadium right after the tournament.
Muhammad Ziyad recorded a distance of 17.30 meters (m) on his third attempt to get bronze while Thailand's representative, Jakkapat Noisri emerged the winner with 17.84m and the silver medal was won by Vietnam's Thanh Binh Phan (17.39m). His teammate, Jonah Chang Rigan, on the other hand, finished fourth with a record of 16.67m.
Muhammad Ziyad admitted that he committed some technical mistakes, but it gave him the motivation to do better in his next appearance.
At the 2020 Paralympic Games, Muhammad Ziyad was denied the gold medal winner in the F20 men's shot put event with a record throw of 17.94m, which incidentally was also a new world record at the prestigious sports games in Japan.
He was classified as DNS following a protest by the Ukrainian team who claimed Muhammad Ziyad was late reporting to the waiting room before the match took place.
Following that, Ukrainian athlete Maksym Koval was announced as the gold winner with a record of 17.34m thus breaking Muhammad Ziyad's world record of 17.29m set at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.