The latest member of the Team Singapore contingent for the Rio Paralympics, Muhammad Diroy Noordin, could hardly believe his ears when he heard the news.
On Wednesday, it was announced that he would be the latest and final member to represent the country in Rio next month.
Not in his wildest dreams did the 24-year-old imagine that he would be competing at the world’s biggest stage for para-sports. Even more so, when he took up shot put and javelin only three years ago.
The graphic designer had always loved sports, and used to be involved with the cerebral palsy football team. It was not until Loh Ngiap Kiang, a Sport Development Officer from Singapore Disability Sports Council, suggested he try a new sport that he decided to pick up shot up and javelin.
And during his international debut at the China Open Athletics Championships in April this year, he shattered everyone’s expectations - including his own - when he threw 28.24m and 7.78m for javelin and shot put respectively, completely surpassing his own target of 24m and 6m.
This novel experience has not only improved his physical health, but it has also given his self-esteem a boost.
“It helped me get healthier, get stronger and gave me more confidence,” he said.
“I used to be a bit shy and nervous, but when I gained more experience, going other countries to represent Singapore, I kept learning and improved myself.”
Diroy couldn’t be more honoured to represent the republic in Brazil and hopes to be able to emulate Singapore’s swimming sensation Joseph Schooling, bringing pride to the nation.
Get to know Sila and Diroy as they went through all the trials and tribulations to get to Rio 2016.
Just like Schooling, he wants to show the world what people from the small country of five million can achieve.
“I want to show the world that a Singaporean can win and can get a world record,” he said.
But even if he doesn’t win anything in Brazil, Diroy knows that he has already made his family and loved ones prouder than they could ever be.
Many words of encouragement were given, but what stuck with his most was one from his brother.
“My brother said try to win gold. But even if you don’t get it, you have already made your family proud to go this far.”
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