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KARACHI: Haider Ali, Pakistan’s only athlete at the Rio Paralympic Games, has done the country proud by winning its first medal in the long jump competition.

Pakistan’s Haider Ali poses for a photo after winning the long jump bronze medal at the Paralympic Games.
Pakistan’s Haider Ali poses for a photo after winning the long jump bronze medal at the Paralympic Games.

The 31-year-old athlete won bronze medal in the long jump event of the T-37 class by managing a distance of 6.28 metres.

He only fell behind Brazil’s Mateus Evangelista Cardoso who bagged a silver (6.53 metres) and China’s Shang Guangxu who won gold with a distance of 6.77 — a world record at the Paralympic Games.

This is the second time that Haider has excelled for his country at the Paralympic Games.

A brilliant and hardworking long jumper who suffers from cerebral palsy, Haider won silver medal for Pakistan in Beijing 2008 as well with a record jump of 6.44m .

Meanwhile, Pakistan Sports Board director Akhtar Ganjera, delighted at the feat, said Haider’s achievement will promote Paralympics in the country and will inspire many special athletes to compete at the national and international levels.

“It is a very big moment for all of us,” Ganjera said on Tuesday in reference to Haider’s medal winning effort.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2016