10 athletes with hearing disabilities will be representing Malaysia at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey from July 18 to July 30.
The Deaflympics is a Special Olympics organised for athletes with hearing disabilities and this year’s edition will be participated by 5000 athletes from 80 countries in 21 sports, with the Malaysian contingent taking part in athletics, ten-pin bowling and badminton.
The athletes, who have been undergoing intensive training since April, representing the country are Rawi Kamarzama, Danish Abdul Rahim, Shahrul Azmeer Azmar, Hami Irfan Jamperidin, Ariff Firdaus Hashim, Hor Wei Hau, Nur Hidayat Refin, Nur Shahdan Muhammad, Muhammad Nur Salam and Norafaeza Abdullah.
According to national coach Amiludin Amin, the national representatives have shown vast improvements after achieving new personal bests at the Kedah Open Athletics Championship last month.
Despite not planning to have high expectations going into the 23rd edition, he hopes the men's 4x400m relay team will be able to create history.
“If they can reach the final, it will be something to be proud of, and winning a medal will be a bonus for the Malaysian contingent,” he said.
As for Norafaeza, the only Malaysian female in the team, she is not planning to let her hearing disability hinder her and aiming to prove herself and make the country proud.
She added that she will take full advantage of her upcoming Deaflympics debut in the 100m and 200m sprints to become the nation’s sprint queen.
“Being the only female athlete in the team does not faze me; in fact, I see it as an advantage to pursue my dream and ambition in the future,” she said.