On Friday, Pakistani athlete Haider Ali made history by becoming the first Pakistani to win a gold medal in the discus throw discipline at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
According to Radio Pakistan, Ali threw 55.26 meters on his fifth attempt out of a total of six, about 3 meters longer than Ukraine’s Mykola Zhabnyak, who finished in second place with 52.43 meters.
Joao Victor Teixeira de Souza Silva of Brazil won bronze with a throw of 51.86 meters.
Ali’s attempt was a “personal best,” according to the official Paralympic Games account on Twitter.
The athlete claimed that the gold medal would be “extremely important” for para-sports in Pakistan since it would show others what can be accomplished through hard work.
He remarked, “I aspire to be a role model for those persons with disabilities who don’t compete in sports to participate in para-sports.”
The US Embassy in Islamabad also congratulated him on his victory, saying he was “accustomed to making history.”
On Twitter, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry congratulated the sportsman on his victory. He tweeted, “We are proud of you.”
Ali, a Gujranwala native, suffers from cerebral palsy. He has won a medal at the Paralympics on several occasions. His prior medals, though, were for long jump.
He took home a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.