Shari, Brunei's only Paralympics hope PARALYMPICS


NATIONAL para-athlete Shari Hj Juma'at will be making his debut at the Paralympics in London this year.

Being the first Bruneian to qualify to the Paralympics without the universality quota, Shari will be among the 4,200 Paralympic athletes expected to compete in the Aug 29-Sept 9 event.

Shari, who grabbed gold at last year's Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia, is currently undergoing a five-times-a-week training at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

"I will be the only athlete to represent Brunei at the Paralympic in London this year. Currently, I train with my coach Hj Wahid Ismail at the National Stadium to work on the technique and fitness. We still continue our training during Ramadhan. The training starts at 4:30pm and in the evening it will starts after the tarawih prayer," said Shari.

Meanwhile, the country's chef de mission Hj Rosmadee Hj Md Daud hopes that Shari will be able to carry his excellent form in London.

"We will be sending one athlete for the Paralympic. He is currently ranked number one in the world in javelin. He has been training very hard for the past few months.

"We hope that he can focus and concentrate on his training and will be able to perform his maximum best in the competition. We need all the Bruneians to pray for his success," said Hj Rosmadee.

Shari ranked top in the IPC Athletics Rankings in the Men's Javelin F55 field wheelchair event. The ranking showed that Shari finished with the best result in the event recording 29.83m at the 1st Malaysia Open Para Athletics Championship 2012.

In second place is Jonas Licurgo Ferreira of Brazil who threw 27.15m in his home town Brazil in June. In third place is Yuseinov Mustafa of Bulgaria who hit 25.81m in Kuwait city.

In fourth place is Zaqout Khamis of Palestine who has a record of 25.61m in the United Arab Emirates while in the fifth place is Jose Nieves from the United States who threw 25.08m in Indianapolis, USA.

Shari also expressed his gratitude to the coaching staff from Community Development Department Youth and Sports Department for their support.

"I would like to thank the coaches and staff from Community Development Department Youth and Sports Department for giving me a chance to compete in the sport and for their support throughout the training and competitions," he said.

Brunei will be joined by Antigua & Barbuda, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, North Korea, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands as the 16 new teams this year.The Brunei Times
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