Haider Ali poses with the gold medal in the awarding ceremony at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Friday. Twitter photo
Gulf Today Report
Haider Ali was already part of Pakistan’s sporting history after taking his country’s maiden Paralympic medal at Beijing 2008. Thirteen years later, he moved a step closer to legendary status by winning Pakistan’s first Paralympic Games gold in any sport.
“It is great to make history for my country again,” Ali said following his triumph in the men’s discus F37 (55.26m) in Tokyo’s National Olympic Stadium on Friday. “I finally have the gold.”
The 36-year-old opened his medal count with long jump silver at the Beijing 2008 Games followed by a bronze in the same event at Rio 2016.
They are the only three Paralympic medals Pakistan have won, and Ali is keen for someone else to follow him on to the podium. “This gold will be very important for para sport in my country," he said. "I hope to be a role model for other people to take part in para sport,” he said. Mykola Zhabnyak from Ukraine took silver and Brazil’s Joao Victor Teixeira bronze.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, celebrities took to Twitter to congratulate Haider Ali on winning the first-ever gold medal for Pakistan in Paralympics.
Taking to Twitter to congratulate Haider Ali from the official Twitter handle, Imran said that the achievement has made the entire nation proud after his discus throw of 55.26m won him the gold medal.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also congratulated Haider for his gold medal.
The US embassy in Islamabad also extended congratulations to Pakistan over winning of gold medal by Haider Ali at Tokyo Paralympics.
The Abes' success gave Japan its third and fourth gold medal of the day after Yuto Horigome took skateboarding's first Olympic title and swimmer Yui Ohashi was the surprise winner of the women's 400m individual competition.
Keleti, who celebrates her birthday on Jan.9, is also Hungary's most successful gymnast, and one of the most decorated Jewish athletes in history. While she now has dementia that affects her short-term memory, her feisty spirit remains intact.
China won the mixed doubles the previous day and had hopes of pulling off a golden badminton sweep in Tokyo, after a spotty performance at the Rio Games in Brazil. In 2012, at London Games, China won all 5 badminton gold medals.
Emma McKeon, who has pocketed four golds in Tokyo, swam the butterfly leg as part of Australia's 'Awesome Foursome' in the medley relay, with Cate Campbell's superb final leg pushing the United States into silver.
The 39-year-old comes in for the injured Danilo, who mysteriously suffered broken ribs, as one of three changes made by Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
The World Triathlon Championship Series will return to its traditional kick-off venue of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on March 3-4, with stops already confirmed in Yokohama, Hamburg, Sunderland; and will finish with the Championship Finals in Pontevedra, Spain, on Sept.23-24.
"I know him pretty well. He's a wonderful bowler and he's turned into a fine leader for Pakistani cricket," McCullum told a press conference. "Shaheen's obviously a big loss."