Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Ten Asian athletes who made history in Rio

From Siamand Rahman’s historical 310kg lift to Iraq’s first wheelchair fencing medallist, check out some of the Asian athletes who had a memorable Paralympic Games, in Rio. 13 Oct 2016
Man in wheelchair in a shooting range, targeting

Paralympic champion Abdullah Sultan Alaryani

ⒸWagner Meier

With China leading the way, Asian countries had a Paralympic Games to remember, in Rio.

A total of 25 won at least one medal, with Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam claiming their maiden Paralympic titles and Qatar making their first appearance on the podium.

Check out 10 Asian athletes who shined at Rio 2016.

Siamand Rahman (IRI)

The Iranian powerlifter confirmed his status as the world’s strongest Paralympian with a staggering performance. In his first attempt, Rahman secured gold in the men’s over 107kg with a 270kg lift. He went on to lift 300kg breaking his own world record and doing what no man had ever done before. The 28-year-old lifted 305kg in his third attempt and cleared the bar at 310kg in the last one to write his name with indelible ink in to the history books.

Wenpan Huang (CHN)

China topped the medals table for a fourth consecutive Paralympic Games after claiming 239 overall -107 golds, 81 silvers and 51 bronzes- in Rio. And amongst all the Asian country’s multiple medal-winners, swimmer Wenpan Huang finished as the most decorated one with five golds and one silver, breaking the world record in four different events along the way.

Ho Wo Jeong (KOR)

As a three-time Paralympic medallist, the 30-year-old boccia player arrived in Rio seeking to increase his medal haul. And he did so with outstanding performances in both his events. Jeong first teamed up with Han Soo Kim to claim silver in the men’s mixed pairs BC3 after losing to the Brazilian pair in the final. But the South Korean took revenge in the mixed individual BC3, beating home crowd favourite Evelyn De Oliveira in the quarter-finals and going on to claim the second Paralympic gold in his career.

Fotimakhon Amilova (UZB)

At only 17years-old, Amilova had a formidable Paralympic debut, reaching the finals in all her six swimming events and winning one gold, one silver and one bronze. Her first medal came in the women’s 100m butterfly S13 on 9 October, touching in third (1:04.93) after USA’s Rebecca Meyers (1:03.25) and compatriot Muslima Odilova (1:04.92). Two days later, Amilova achieved glory by breaking the world record (1:12.45) on her way to gold in the 100m breaststroke SB13 and following that up with silver (2:25.23) in the 200m individual medley SM13, behind Meyers (2:24.66).

Pin Xiu Yip (SIN)

After missing out the podium in London, Great Britain, four years ago, Singapore’s only Paralympic champion felt ready to reclaim the swimming titles she had won in Beijing, China, in 2008. The 24-year-old began her winning run on 9 September by setting a world record of 2:07.09 in the women’s 100m backstroke S2 final and added a second gold in the 50m backstroke S2 seven days later.

Paeyo Pongsakorn (THA)

The 19-year-old’s Paralympic debut could not have been better, winning medals in all four events he took part in. Pongsakorn’s winning run started on 10 October, when he claimed silver in the men’s 100m T53. The Thai’s first title came in the 400m T53 the following day, with a Paralympic record time of 47.91. He topped the podium again in the 800m T53 and closed his fantastic Games with another silver in the 4x400m relay T53/54.

Zahra Nemati (IRI)

The 31-year-old archer spent two unforgettable months in Rio. Nemati first competed at August’s Olympic Games, where she carried the Iranian flag at the Opening Ceremony. And in September she went on to win one gold and one silver at her second Paralympic Games. Nemati’s finished second in the mixed team recurve open behind China and ahead of Italy, but then sealed the women’s individual recurve open title. She added those medals to the gold and the bronze she had claimed at London 2012.

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli (MAS)

Since their Paralympic debut at Heidelberg 1972, Malaysia had never won a gold medal. In Rio, the Asian country claimed two within one hour. On 10 September, Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi sealed the country’s first in the men’s 100m T36. Only 60 minutes later, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli, who won bronze at both London 2012 and the Doha 2015 World Championships, broke the world record (16.84m) to top the podium in the men’s shot put F20. Malaysia would later add one more gold and one bronze to round off their best Paralympic Games to date.

Abdulla Sultan Alaryani (UAE)

He may not have won gold at last month’s Games, but Rio 2016 triple-silver medallist Alaryani showed the world that becoming United Arab Emirates’ first shooting Paralympic champion four years ago in London was not a matter of good fortune. The 46-year-old finished second in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1), the R7 (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1) and the R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1), and confirmed he will continue to be one of the sport’s big names in the upcoming years.

Ammar Ali (IRQ)

Until Rio 2016, only track and field athletes and powerlifters had been Iraq’s medal winners at Paralympic Games. But 31-year-old Ali added wheelchair fencing to the list after sealing silver in the men’s individual epee category B, last month. Ali progressed through the pool stage and then defeated France’s Marc-Andre Cratere and Yannick Ifebe in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, to qualify for the gold-medal match, which he lost to Belarus’ Andrei Pranevich.