SINGAPORE: One more Singaporean will get his chance to shine in Rio, after the Republic was awarded an additional slot following Russia’s ban from the Paralympic Games due to state-sponsored doping.
Muhammad Diroy Noordin was announced as the 13th athlete in the contingent on Aug 24, and he will represent Singapore in shot put and javelin.
Diroy had actually met the "A" qualification mark for Rio, but the only male slot for athletics had been awarded to Suhairi Suhani in Jul.
Despite not making the initial cut, Diroy told Channel NewsAsia that he was not disappointed with the decision, and stuck to his regime of training three times a week: "Even though I didn't get to go to Rio, I never stopped training to keep improving and do my best, in other upcoming competitions."
Winning a gold medal javelin at the 4th China Open Athletics Championships in April fuelled Diroy's confidence. His aim is to break his personal best records when he makes his Paralympics debut, and to bring home at least one medal.
The 24-year-old stands at only 1.29 metres tall, as he was born with dwarfism. As such, Diroy admits that life was not easy growing up: "When I was young, I was scared to talk to people, or scared to go out because I was different from other people. People, when they see you, they say hey why is that guy short?"
Diroy said picking up track and field in 2013 gave him the strength to break out of his shell: "Shot put and javelin have made me confident, while being stronger and active, and also healthy."
Away from sports, Diroy’s other passion is in graphic design. He graduated from Temasek Polytechnic last year with a diploma in Visual Communications and wiill start working as a graphic designer in October.
He hopes his journey will inspire more people to go for their dreams: "They need to have confidence that they can do it, and achieve something that they want in life."