Team Singapore long jumper Suhairi Suhani produced the performance of his life at the Rio Paralympics on Sunday, smashing his personal best with a jump of 6.69m at the Olympic Stadium.
Roared on by another large crowd, Suhairi, whose previous best was 6.66m, jumped distances of 6.69m, 6.52m and 6.68m in the T20 final before pushing himself to the limit and had three red flags with his last three efforts.
TeamSG long jumper Suhairi Suhani in action in the Men's Long Jump F20 event. Photo: Sport Singapore
The 19-year-old ASEAN Para Games Silver medallist’s performance was good enough to earn him a highly creditable eighth place out of the 12 competitors.
“I haven’t got a medal but I had two personal bests and so I am very happy,” said Suhairi after the race.
Malaysia’s Abdul Latif Romly won the Gold medal with a fantastic jump of 7.60m while Croatia’s Zoran Talic took Silver and Ukraine's Dmytro Prudnikov won Bronze.
But Suhairi said he was not paying attention to what his rivals were achieving and was purely aiming to deliver his best.
“I don’t care what the others do, I just focus on what I can do. The coach told me to focus on doing what I need to do and so I really focused straight on that,” he added.
“A jump of 7.60m is wonderful. My thoughts were if I could get a medal that would be great but I wanted a PB and I got that,” he said.
“I am only nineteen and I have long way to go. Hopefully I will be back at the next Paralympics in four years and I will train so hard for it,” added Suhairi, who said he had revelled in the atmosphere at the stadium.
“The crowd was amazing, thanks to Brazil, the crowd was wonderful. They love all sports, they are amazing,” he said.
“It is my first at a Paralympic Games, competing with the greatest in the world in T20 and I finished top eight and with two PBs,” he said, adding that he was grateful for the support of his mother.
“She would have been watching at home live on television and when I get back I will have a big hug for her,” he said.
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