Para Sukma: Being crowned best female athlete a pleasant surprise says Nur Jannaton

KUALA LUMPUR: Compound archer Nur Jannaton Abdul Jalil never expected that she would be crowned Best Female Athlete of the 2022 Malaysian Para Games (Para Sukma).

The 27-year-old lass from Perak said she only came to participate and live up to the expectation of the state contingent at the Games which ran from Nov 1 to 6.

“I couldn’t believe it. In my mind, I was thinking do I deserve this, what did I do to win this award. Anyhow, I am pleased with this achievement,” she said when met by reporters at the closing ceremony on Sunday (Nov 6) night.

She performed brilliantly winning three golds through the 50m individual event, the Individual Olympic Round and the 50m mixed team event with Zafi Rahman Mat Saleh.

With a score of 638 points in the individual 50m event, Nur Jannaton managed to be on the list among top 25 best athletes in the world and the top five in Asia for the women’s compound event.

Nur Jannaton now aimed to improve and strengthen her technique, as well as find an archery style that was suitable for her short stature in an effort to qualify for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The Asean Para Games (APG) mixed team gold medallist in Solo, Indonesia was also set to retain the gold at the Cambodian APG Games and the Hangzhou Asian Para Games in China, to be held next year.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Zikri Zakaria, who was named Best Male Athlete, said he managed to win three gold medals and break three Games records for the F55 (wheelchair) category because he was not under pressure.

“I feel the situation at Para Sukma was much better than at the APG last August because there was no pressure and we are on home ground.

“In addition I was able to use the experience gained in Solo.

“I dedicate this award to my family and coaches who have always helped me.

“It was great to meet friends from other states and new talents,” he said.

Mohamad Zikri, 23, from Melaka set a new discus record with a throw of 22.75 metres (m) surpassing the old record of 18.45m, a javelin throw record with 20.97m (18.26m) and a shot put record with a distance of 9.61m (7.26m).

The shot put achievement placed him second in Asia and fourth in two other events, thus making him a podium contender at the Hangzhou Asian Games and a likely champion athlete at the Asean Para Games (APG) in Cambodia next year. – Bernama