Shot put champion Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli has written a heartfelt apology after he was disqualified from winning a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Ziyad and two other athletes from Ecuador and Australia were charged for “Did Not Start” (DNS) rule after the Ukrainian team protested that they reported late to the call room before the event. In an Instagram post, the national shot put champion wrote, “I apologise to all Malaysians. Thank you for your support.”
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His disqualification sparked a public uproar in Malaysia. Yesterday, Youth Miniter revealed that a protest has been submitted before the organisers.
The country’s counter-protest was rejected by World Para Athletics, claiming the decision was based on World Para Athletics Rule 5.5 on “failure to report to the call room.”
However, the athletes were allowed to compete under protest while the committee considered all the evidence as to why they were late to the call room.
World Para Athletics also rejected appeals from Australia and Ecuador. Ziyad, Yesterday broke the world record in the F20 category shot put final throw of 17.94 meters in his third attempt. This would have been the country’s second gold medal.