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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Sept 1: Sarawakian swimmer Muhammad Nur Syaiful has advanced to the men’s S5 (physical impairment) freestyle final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games today.
Despite starting slow, Bernama reported that the 26-year-old managed to finish in third place in the first heat with a time of 33.46 seconds (s) at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
The final is scheduled to take place at 7.29pm (6.29pm Malaysian time).
The national swimmer from Asajaya, who suffered deformity in both legs after being involved in an accident when he was 17-years-old, can now breathe a sigh of relief having now qualified for the final after suffering two disappointments.
On Aug 29, Nur Syaiful failed to make the final after being disqualified in the men’s 100 metres (m) breaststroke SB4 (physical disability) heats for an infringement during the race as his head did not emerge to the surface of the water for a distance of 15 metres in the early stage of the race.
However, the following day, he broke his personal record in the men’s 100m freestyle S5 final.
He finished seventh out of eight swimmers with a time of 1:15.12s, beating his personal best of 1:15.39s set in London in 2019.
In his first event on Aug 25, he was also disqualified in heat one of the men’s 200m freestyle S5 on a technical issue, after he was found swimming with a plaster patch on his left shoulder to reduce the pain from an injury.
Today’s competition saw Nur Syaiful from Asajaya emerge as the fifth best swimmer from the two qualifying heats as only the top eight swimmers from the two heats make the cut for the final.
Weiyi Yuan of China who competed in the second heat emerged the fastest swimmer with a time of 31.30s to break the Paralympic record of 32.65s set by Brazilian swimmer Daniel de Faria Dias in London in 2012. — DayakDaily