Athlete Haider Ali won Pakistan its first medal at Rio Paralympic Games
Haider Ali, Pakistan’s only athlete at Rio Paralympic Games 2016, has won Pakistan its first medal. Long jumper Ali won a bronze medal in Rio 2016 on September 13.
This is the second time Ali has brought home paralympic medal – he won a silver with a record jump of 6.44m in Beijing 2008. Haider, who sufferes from cerebral palsy, had covered a record distance of 6.44 metres at the China 2008 Games.
China’s Shang Guangxu won the gold with a jump of 6.77m while Brazil’s Evangelista Cardoso Mateus jumped 6.53m to bag silver in the event.
The 31-year-old won the bronze medal in the long jump event of the T-37 class by managing a distance of 6.28 metres. He only fell behind Brazil’s Mateus Evangelista Cardoso on the second place with 6.53 metres and China’s Shang Guangxu on the top place with 6.77 – a world record at the Paralympic Games.
Pakistan Sports Board Director Akhtar Ganjera beliecves that Ali’s achievement will promote Paralympics in country despite the challenges that Paralympics athletes face in the country.
“It is a very proud moment for all of us,” Ganjera told The Express Tribune. “The Paralympics athletes have to overcome a lot. I got to know Ali when he was preparing for the Games. They have all kinds of challenges to face, like the need of proper shoes and special track for them. Mostly, Ali prepared on his own.”
Haider Ali is the only athlete to finish among top three in the Pakistan’s 24-year history at the Paralympic Games.
Ali was the lone participant from Pakistan in Rio for this year’s Paralympics games.
Pakistan celebrate Ali’s victory on social media
Here is how Ali’s victory was celebrated on social media:
— Reuters Pakistan (@ReutersPakistan) September 14, 2016
— PakPassion Sport (@PakPassionSport) September 13, 2016
— Zeeshan Ahmed (@mrsportsjourno) September 13, 2016