Despite the success of winning a gold medal at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games (APG), national long jump champion Datuk Abdul Latif Romly still can’t get over the loss of his gift car.
While not at his best following a thigh injury, the Perlis-born athlete is still bothered about the loss of his car just a few weeks before leaving for Hangzhou.
According to the 26-year-old athlete, he was very upset because the Kia Sportage he received from Naza Corporation was a symbol of success when he won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
“Two or three weeks before I went to Hangzhou, my car was stolen. I was really thinking about the lost car but my wife (Nurul Nabila Farhana Musaidi) gave me a lot of encouragement and asked me to focus on sports first.
“The Kia donated to me in 2016 was later found in Batu Caves (Selangor) but it had been cut up,” he told Bernama.
The gold medal victory seven years ago also saw him received a reward under the Sports Victory Prize Scheme (SHAKAM) amounting RM1 million as well as donations from corporate companies.
In addition to the Kia Sportage car, Naza Corporation also gave a residential suite at Equine Park, Seri Kembangan worth RM350,000.
Abdul Latif defended the APG gold medal for the third time in a row in the long jump T20 (intellectual impairment) after the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea and 2018 in Jakarta-Palembang.
At the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium on Tuesday, Abdul Latif recorded the best jump of 7.18 metres (m) in the fourth attempt over his nearest challenger Hassan Nasser Dawshi of Saudi Arabia who took silver. Bronze was won by compatriot Zulkifly Abdullah.
Despite dominating the competition, Abdul Latif is taking a cautious approach to avoid injuring his thigh again as his top priority now is the World Para Athletics Championships and the 2024 Paris Paralympics next year.