TOKYO, August 31 – National para shot put champion, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, who broke the world record twice in his shot put F20 (learning disabilities) event at the Tokyo Paralympic Games today has reportedly been disqualified by the Tokyo Paralympic authorities on technical issues.
Although the Paralympian notched 17.31m in his first throw, 17.94m in his third, 17.62m in his fourth, and 16.31m in his fifth throw, the gold medal has been awarded to a runner-up, Ukraine’s Maksym Koval.
The 31-year-old Malaysian para-athlete defended his 2016 Rio victory with a new world and Paralympic record with a throw of 16.84m to clinch the gold medal, erasing the record of Australian athlete Todd Hodgetts.
It is understood that the Ukrainian team had protested the fact that Ziyad was late to enter the call room. His disqualification is currently being appealed by the Malaysian contingent.
Ziyad is not alone in Malaysia’s para-athletics campaign in Tokyo as he is joined by two Rio 2016 gold medallists, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi in the 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) and Abdul Latif Romly in the long jump T20 (learning disabilities) events, along with fellow Paralympians, Siti Nooriasah Mohamad Ariffin in the 400m women’s F20 (learning disabilities) and Wong Kar Gee in the long jump T13 (visual impairment) events.
Malaysia has altogether 22 para-athletes competing in nine types of sports at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.