- A Paralympic shot putter had his gold medal taken away because he was late for the final.
- Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli set a new world record during his attempt, but it was later discounted.
- The 31-year-old appealed the decision but it was rejected by the World Para Athletics.
A Paralympic shot putter won gold and set a new world record only to be disqualified for turning up three minutes late to the final.
Malaysia’ Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli broke his own world record by more than a meter with a throw of 17.94 meters but it was later scratched off.
The 31-year-old was one of three athletes to arrive late at the final but was the only one to throw a medal-winning shot.
Zolkefli, who won gold at Rio 2016, competes in the F20 classification of the event and was allowed to compete under protest following his late arrival.
After the event, Malaysian media outlet the Star reported that it was the Ukrainian team who lodged a complaint and Zolkefli, along with Australia’s Todd Hodgets and Ecuador’s Jordi Patricio Congo Villalba, were classified as Did Not Start.
The disqualification meant that Ukraine’s Maksym Koval won gold with a throw of 17.34 meters, and his fellow countryman Oleksandr Yarovyi won the silver.
Another Malaysian news outlet, Malaysia Kini, reports that Zolkefli’s appeal has been turned down by the World Para Athletics.
Zolkefli took to Instagram on Wednesday to apologize.
“I apologise to all Malaysians, thank you for supporting me.
“I will rise again. Thank you for your words of encouragement,” he said.