PHNOM PENH – National para athlete Muhamad Ashraf Muhammad Haisham wants the first gold medal he won in the men’s 5,000-metre T46 (physical impairment) category to be the spark that ignites the national athletic contingent’s gold rush at the 2023 ASEAN Para Games (APG).
The 28-year-old said it was his responsibility as the athletics squad captain in Cambodia to ensure he did his best and deliver a medal at the biennial Games.
Muhamad Ashraf clocked 18 minutes 49.42 seconds (s) to clinch gold, with Filipino King James Teves Reyes (18:50.16s) and Vietnam’s Tran Van Duc (18:50.17s) settling for silver and bronze.
“I was appointed the athletics team captain, so I hope this (gold medal) will inspire the squad. Insya-Allah, (we will) achieve the target.
“I am very satisfied with this win, having learned my lesson from my defeat in Solo, Indonesia in last year’s edition. Then (in Solo), I only thought of breaking the record but, today, I had a strategy,” he told reporters after delivering Malaysia’s first gold medal in athletics at the Morodok Techo National Stadium, here, today.
He is optimistic about chipping in with two more gold medals through the 1,500m and 800m T46 (physical impairment) category in the ongoing 12th edition of the biennial APG.
Muhamad Ashraf, however, admitted that it would be quite impossible for him to be in peak condition for the 1,500m event tomorrow morning, having just completed the 5,000m race tonight, adding: “… but I will do my best”. – Bernama