31-Year-Old Ridzuan Puzi Has Just Been Named Asia's Best Male Para-Athlete

The Gold Medalist is the first Malaysian to win the award.

Cover image via Utusan Online

National Paralympian Mohamad Ridzuan Puzi has just created history by becoming the first Malaysian para-athlete to win the 2018 Best Asian Male Para Athlete award

The award cements his status as one of the country's sporting greats, which also earned him accolades from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The 31-year-old gold medalist was crowned for his record-breaking feats in the sprint and long jump categories in 2018. He will be receiving his award during a ceremony in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on 5 February, according to The Star Online.

Image via Utusan Online

An unexpected honour

Ridzuan, who bagged three gold medals at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Para Games 2018, thanked the National Sports Council (NSC), the National Paralympic Committee and singled out his personal coach R. Jaganathan for helping him throughout.

"I wouldn't have done it without the guidance of coach Jaganathan. It will spur me to do much better in the World Para Athletics Championships in Doha in November," he was quoted saying by the English daily, adding that he never expected to win this award.

"I never expected to win the award as there were a few other athletes who have also done well in the Asian Para Games. It's an honour as I'm the first Malaysian to win this award," the 2016 Rio Paralympic 100m gold medal winner said.

Meanwhile, a proud Jaganathan, who has served as Ridzuan's coach since 2009, was quoted by The Star Online saying that "Ridzuan is a role model to the other Malaysian para-athletes – they should emulate him and believe in their own abilities."

Ridzuan with coach Jaganathan.

Image via Astro Arena

Ridzuan's achievement also prompted Tun Dr Mahathir to take to his official Twitter account and congratulate him

"I congratulate and commend our national para-athlete Mohamad Ridzuan Puzi for his achievement. It is a great honour and success which would make the country proud. Malaysia Boleh! #YouAreExceptional," read Tun Dr Mahathir's tweet.

Congratulations, Ridzuan!

You've once again made the country proud. :')

Meanwhile, in December, when the woman who was crowned the world's best footballer was asked to "twerk":

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