Skateboarder targeted by trolls, gets support

Fatin Syahirah Roszizi's unfortunate horror show drew flak online but many like skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and a Malaysian minister have spoken up for her.
Fatin Syahirah Roszizi's unfortunate horror show drew flak online but many like skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and a Malaysian minister have spoken up for her.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA • Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and Malaysia's sports minister have leapt to the defence of a teenager who was viciously targeted online over her poor performance at the Asian Games.

Fatin Syahirah Roszizi, 16, finished in eighth and last place in the women's street final on Wednesday, falling off within seconds of the start in two of her runs.

The Philippines' Margielyn Didal bagged gold with a score of 30.4 - compared with Fatin's 5.4.

Fatin's horror show continued when she was subjected to a tide of vitriolic comments on Facebook.

Choudhry Sundaram Padiachee said the final was a "disgrace towards the nation", while Wan Noraziah Aziz asked: "Did she go there (to the Asiad) using her own money?"

Others said there were better Malaysian skaters but they had not been given a chance.

The abuse prompted Fatin to delete all her posts on Instagram, before posting an apology.

Skateboarding impresario Hawk was one of thousands who rushed to the teenager's defence. He wrote on Instagram: "Don't give up! If I had listened to the haters throughout my life, I would have stopped skating way too soon.

"They are simply projecting their insecurities on you because they wish they had the courage to follow their dreams. You can be an inspiration to a new generation of Malaysian skaters."

Malaysia's sports minister Syed Saddiq said on Twitter that "this (abuse) should never happen".

"It's easy for people to criticise, but we are not in her place. To be 16 and representing your country, the pressure must be unimaginable," he posted.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline 'Skateboarder targeted by trolls, gets support'. Print Edition | Subscribe