Tokyo Paralympics: Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli stripped off gold medal for arriving 3 min late

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Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli stripped off gold medal for arriving 3 min late
Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli stripped off gold medal for arriving 3 min late

Malaysian Shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli won gold in the F20 class but was later disqualified for arriving three minutes late for the event. He was allowed to compete in the F20 final in Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday despite being late because at the time he had a “logical” reason for being late, the IPC said. Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli later went on to win a gold medal and break the world record. However, a referee later found there was no “good reason” for him to be late.

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According to a report by Malaysian media outlets, Ukraine had registered a protest that Zolkefli was late to the call room before the event started. And the IPC finally took the decision and Ziyad was stripped of the gold medal. The gold went instead to Ukraine’s Maksym Koval. Ukraine teammate Oleksandr Yarovyi took silver, while bronze went to Efstratios Nikolaidis of Greece.

Fans expressed their anger on social media after Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was stripped of gold medal for being late

The decision to take away Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli’s gold medal was heavily criticized on social media. The Malaysian fans claimed that it was an unfair decision taken by the organizing committee.

“Absolutely disgraceful! You should not have allowed the athletes to compete if they were late. Don’t steal this hard-earned, world record-breaking medal from Ziyad,” said Malaysian MP Fahmi Fadzil.

“The athletes have waited for five years but their hopes and spirits were destroyed by a delay of not even five minutes… this is something which is very sad,” Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizul Azumu

IPC defended the decision of the referees

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli
Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) defended the decision of the referees by rejecting an appeal of the Malaysian shot putter. IPC spokesman Craig Spence said: “People say the Ukrainian stole the gold. No, absolutely not. The Ukrainian had nothing to do with it. It was the athletes that were late. There’s been a massive outpouring of the emotion of many Malaysians on social media. Very abusive. Ridiculous, in my view.”

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