SINGAPORE - As personal bests tumbled – six, including a world record, were set in the dramatic Tokyo 2020 Paralympics men’s F40 shot put final – Singapore’s Muhammad Diroy Noordin pitched a national record of 9.92m with the last of his six throws on Sunday (Aug 29).
The 29-year-old, the Republic’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, finished eighth of nine competitors at the Olympic Stadium.
The gold went to Denis Gnezdilov of the Russian Paralympic Committee, although he needed to break the world record twice in a day to win it.
On his final attempt, he threw 11.16m to edge out Iraq’s Garrah Tnaiash by 1cm.
Earlier, Gnezdilov had thrown 11.02m with his first toss to surpass the previous 11.01m record, set by Portugal’s Miguel Monteiro, who claimed the bronze with his 10.76m launch.
Diroy, who has dwarfism, also twice improved on his previous mark of 9.78m set at the Singapore Athletics Performance Trial 2 in June. He had thrown 9.85m on his third toss.
While he was pleased to rewrite his national mark twice, he was a tad disappointed that he did not surpass the 10m mark or win a medal.
Speaking to media via a video conference call after his event, he said: “We put in so much effort and trained hard to go (to the Paralympics) to win a medal but I’m still happy that I did my personal best.
“Out of 10, I give (my performance) around eight.”
His result is a significant improvement on the 7.29m he threw to finish ninth out of 10 athletes in the same event at Rio 2016, his first Paralympics appearance.
Diroy gave credit to his coach, former sprinter Muhamad Hosni, as well as his nutritionist, physiotherapist, bio-mechanist and sports psychologist for helping him achieve the result in Tokyo.
He added that he hopes to improve on being more focused before competing as well his technique, strength and speed. That will stand him in good stead as he bids for a medal at his third Paralympics come Paris 2024.
But for now, he hopes to enjoy some downtime before returning to training.
He said: “I’m going to put my sport aside and try to rest and do other things that make me feel relaxed and cool down. Maybe go out with my friends or spend more time with my family because most of the time when I train, I don’t have time to meet my family and friends.”