Ridzuan Puzi determined to train harder to defend paralympics gold medal

Last update: 07/02/2019

SEPANG, Feb 7 (Bernama) -- After being recognised as the Best Asian Male Athlete  for 2018, national elite Paralympic athlete Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi is determined to defend his gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Mohamad Ridzuan, 31, who is fondly known as Dik Wan, received the award from the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recognition of his outstanding performances in the Asian region on Tuesday.

He was Malaysia’s first ever gold medallist in Paralympics, winning the 100m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.

He considers the APC recognition as the most rewarding award as it showed that his efforts were being appreciated not only in the country but also at the Asian level.

“Thank you to all, including my family, coaches, the National Sports Council (MSN), the Youth and Sports Ministry and everyone for always supporting me,

“This struggle is meaningless without your support,” he told reporters on arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Dubai today.

Last October, the Perlis-born athlete set a new world and Asian record of 11.87 seconds en route to winning the men’s 100m T36 (cerebral palsy) category gold medal at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta.

He also bagged two more gold medals at the meet when he emerged triumphant in the long jump and 400m events.

These achievements earned him the 2018 Best Asian Male Athlete trophy.

He is now ready to face a more difficult training regimen to prepare for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo

Meanwhile, national paralympics head coach, R. Jeganathan said Mohamad Ridzuan needed a more strenuous and persistent training schedule due to his health challenges ( Cerebral Palsy).

Jeganathan, who has trained Mohamad Ridzuan for almost 11 years,  said he understands that people with the condition require continuous training of movement.

“Not many people know that as Cerebral Palsy patient age, their muscles and tendons will be tense. Hence, they need constant training and should not rest for too long, at most only two to three days.

“I told him that even during the fasting month he still needed to train in the morning and afternoon, and only two days leave for  the Hari Raya celebration. As usual, Dik Wan obeyed and is ever ready to give his full commitment to training,” he told reporters.

He regards Mohamad Ridzuan as a highly disciplined athlete despite his health challenges and thus he will help the athlete retain his Paralympics title.

“He has done his job to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, so it is now my duty to make sure he defends his gold medal,” he added.