Twitter users were overjoyed after Paralympian Haider Ali made the country proud by winning the first-ever gold medal for Pakistan in Paralympics, with a top podium finish in the discus throw event at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Friday.
The athlete threw a 55.26 metres throw in his fifth attempt out of the total six he made to score the best distance. However, this is not Ali’s first win. The athlete has previously bagged two medals – silver in Beijing and a Bronze in Rio in the long jump event for Pakistan.
Speaking about his victory with The Express Tribune, Ali shared that sports is something he has consistently pursued since childhood. The athlete revealed, “By birth my right side is weak, but sports were always my passion. Even in my childhood I loved sports and when I found out about the NPC, I contacted them, and they supported me fully. Today I am here, and I have won medals in Rio and Bejing.”
Thus, following the news of Ali’s big win, several social media users took to the micro-blogging site to express their joy and congratulate him. The Government of Pakistan’s official Twitter account shared, “Paralympian Haider Ali made the country proud by winning the first-ever gold medal for Pakistan in Paralympics. He achieved the feat in the Men's Discus Throw competition, recording his personal best throw of a striking 55.26m.”
Paralympian #HaiderAli made the country proud by winning the first-ever gold medal for Pakistan in #Paralympics. He achieved the feat in the Men's Discus Throw competition, recording his personal best throw of a striking 55.26m.#Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/kPKW4PZDg9— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) September 3, 2021
Olympian Talha Talib congratulated his fellow athlete writing, “Congratulations to all of Pakistan. Haider Ali bhai, you make us proud, first-ever gold medal in Paralympics!”
Ma sha Allah Ma sha Allah 😍😍😍😍♥️❤️❤️♥️ Congratulations to all Pakistan 🇵🇰😍 #HaiderAli bhai you make us proud ❤️😍— Talha Talib (@_talha_talib) September 3, 2021
First ever gold medal in #Paralympics #Gold #HaiderAli #haiderali_goldmedal_pak pic.twitter.com/s2juC11I5y
Actor and singer Farhan Saeed took to Twitter to write, "Many congratulations to the incredible Haider Ali for his historic gold medal win at the Paralympics."
Fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin took to the site to congratulate the athlete and reflect on the power of determination. "Super proud of Haider Ali! He is the first Pakistani gold medalist in the Paralympic games! You have made your country extremely proud by showing the world that nothing can stop a person who is determined for greatness! You are a true inspiration for all," he tweeted.
Super proud of #HaiderAli! He is the first Pakistani gold medalist in Paralympics games! 👏🏼 You have made your country extremely proud by showing the world that nothing can stop a person who is determined for greatness! You are a true inspiration for all. 🥇🇵🇰— Hassan Sheheryar (@HSYCOUTUREKING) September 3, 2021
Actor Hania Amir retweeted the news of the athlete's win, writing, "Zindabad, Haider Ali - Pakistan's hero, Pakistan's pride.
Singer Ali Zafar wrote, "Pakistan wins its first-ever gold at the Paralympics in Tokyo in the Men's Discus Throw - Haider Ali, you've done us proud!
In another tweet, a user congratulated Ali while commending the efforts of Punjab’s provincial minister for sports and youth affairs. “Congratulations, Haider Ali, well done. Credit also goes to Rai Taimur Bhatti for arranging the ticket on an urgent basis. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been possible. He is one of the most sports ministers, deserves to be appreciated, Sir.”
Congratulations #HaiderAli 🇵🇰, welldone🏅.Credit also goes to Rai Taimur Bhatti for arranging the ticket on urgent bases, otherwise it wouldn't have possible. He is one of the most sports minister, deserves to be appreciated Sir👏🇵🇰 https://t.co/FJClFLuuQ4— Hassaan (@hassaan3178) September 3, 2021
Several felt uplifted by the much-needed good news. “Finally good news has arrived. Congratulations, Pakistan!” tweeted a user, with another writing, “[Was] not having a good Friday, then this [happened]. Haider Ali won a gold medal in [the] Paralympics. Thank you, Haider.”
Expressing joy over the athlete’s impressive win, a netizen added, “Pakistan’s first-ever gold medal at the Paralympics! What an amazing performance by Haider Ali! [He] beat the silver medalist by quite a margin and hit his personal best as well.”
Ali, however, has revealed that the road to his victory was not an easy one. He shared before the event, "The training was very disturbed because our training centres were closed due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, and we missed out on quite a few day. Those were crucial but we kept going because we had to prepare for Tokyo.”
Ali feels that having the uncertainty in training was tough, but then the second set of problems arose with having no support from the government of Pakistan in helping the para-athletes travel to Tokyo.
Earlier the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Media Director Huma Beg had shared that the tickets for the athletes were also bought just a few days before their scheduled arrival. The committee did not have any backing from the government in sending the athletes to the Games, until the Government of Punjab stepped in and arranged the tickets. The majority of the preparation was done by the athletes themselves.
“My appeal to the Government of Pakistan is that Paralympics is [one of] the biggest events in the world. And to even participate in it is an honour. I have won medals for the country. But the Paralympians should get the same support the Olympians get so that we can also train better, compete in a better way, give better results and make Pakistan proud. I am grateful to NPC since it is because of them that I am where I am today.” the athlete concluded
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