Other sports: coach will not prevent Abdul Latif from competing in the normal category

TOKYO: National para-athletics champion, Abdul Latif Romly can compete in the normal category if he wishes, says his trainer Shahrul Amri Suhaimi.

Shahrul said he would support Abdul Latif, who successfully defended his gold in the T20 long jump (intellectual disability) at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, if he decides to compete in the normal category in the future.

“Abdul Latif has no problem competing in the normal category as he competed in the Malaysia Games and the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. If that is his wish, we will not stop him and give him our best support, ”Shahrul said at an online press conference.

The 38-year-old coach will develop a new plan to determine the future of the Perlis athlete after his charge recovers from the leg injury he sustained in Saturday’s final in Japan.

In the final, Abdul Latif, who won his first gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, was in a class of his own when he led the standings with his second jump of 7.45m which was enough to confirm victory and Malaysia’s third gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The 24-year-old, who is also the Paralympic Games record holder with a 7.60m jump in 2016, Rio was later sidelined with an injury after recording 5.56m during of his fifth jump.

He could not continue and had to be wheeled by a doctor for further treatment but even without having to make his sixth jump the gold medal was assured.

Greece’s Athanasios Prodromou took the silver medal with a 7.17m jump while a 7.12m jump helped Australia’s Nicholas Hum take bronze.

Meanwhile, Shahrul will also be in talks with the National Sports Council to find a replacement para-athlete for Abdul Latif as well as new talent for other categories for the Paris Games in 2024.

“Before that we had a replacement for Abdul Latif who had a personal best 7.72m but his performance during the competition was inconsistent,” he added. – Bernama

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