Malaysia sweeps third gold at Rio Paralympic Games, breaking world records

Abdul Latif Romly in October 24, 2015 in Doha, Qatar, where he set the last world record.
Image: Francois Nel/Getty Images

It's a third gold for Malaysia at the Rio Paralympics, as long jumper Abdul Latif Romly broke the world record multiple times at the finals on Sunday.

Latif, who was competing in the men's long jump T20 (intellectual disability), broke the previous world record of 7.35 metres and set the new mark at 7.60 metres.

Zoran Talic from Croatia and Ukraine's Dmytro Prudnikov took silver and bronze, respectively.

The three men previously took the medal podium in the same order last October in Doha, Qatar, at the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Abdul Latif Romly of Malaysia wins gold, Zoran Talic of Croatia silver and Dmytro Prudnikov of Ukraine bronze in Doha, Qatar.

Image: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Latif's gold adds to the historic medal tally Malaysia is racking up at the Games. It had previously won silver and bronze at the Paralympics, but never gold.

On Saturday, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi won the country's first Paralympic gold at the 100 metre T36 (cerebral palsy) event.

Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi winning the men's 100m - T36 final

Image: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Later, the next gold was delivered by Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, who won the men's shot put F20 (intellectual disability) final and shattered the world record as well.

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli celebrates his gold.

Image: Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli on the podium.

Image: Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Singaporean outcry over Paralympic prize money disparity

On Sunday, Malaysia's sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the country's Paralympic gold medal winners will receive the same 1 million Ringgit (US$242,927) prize bounty that's given to their Olympic counterparts.

The previous amount offered was just 30 percent of that.

The minister said in a Facebook post that it's meant to signal the country's support for the Paralympians, and that their "achievements and sacrifices are to be honoured the same as other athletes."

The move was lauded by local press and netizens.

But over in neighbouring Singapore, debate raged over the weekend regarding recent gold medal winner Yip Pin Xiu, who received S$200,000 (US$147,188) for her swimming achievement at Rio.

This is just one fifth of the S$1 million (US$735,943) given to Olympic gold swimmer Joseph Schooling after he beat Michael Phelps on the world stage last month.

Netizens registered their outrage at the "unfair treatment" on Facebook:

Yip's prize money this time round is already higher than the S$100,000 (US$73,594) she got for her gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

A similar public debate was sparked when it was revealed the country was offering just a fraction of the monetary award to Paralympians, and the amount was later raised, reported Today.

Singapore, which has always offered a S$1 million prize for Olympic gold, had never won one until Schooling's achievement last month.

Yip was Singapore's first Paralympic gold medal in 2008, where she broke a world record. Over the weekend in Rio she broke her own record and set another when she won the 100 metre backstroke S2 gold.

Gold medalist Yip Pin Xiu of Singapore celebrates on the podium on day 2 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Image: Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

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