National deaf karate exponent Yilamaran Vispalinggam has made history by bagging the country's first medal at the 24th Deaflympics in Brazil.
The 22-year-old, who hails from Johor, won the silver medal after losing to Makhno Oleksanr of Ukraine, in the final of the men's kumite below 84kg, early yesterday (local time), reported Bernama.
This is Yilamaran's debut in the Deaflympics, which is a multi-sport event sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, where hearing impaired athletes compete at an elite level. A total of 1,956 athletes from 70 countries are currently competing in the tournament from May 1 to 15.
It is worth noting that Yilamaran also made history in November last year when he won the country's first medal - a bronze - at the inaugural World Deaf Karate Championships in Tehran, Iran.
Sports Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu, in a Facebook post, congratulated Yilamaran on his win, hailing him a national hero.
"I am very proud of his achievement because this is his first Deaflympics outing and he won a silver medal," Faizal wrote.
Meanwhile, the Johor state government has announced a cash reward of RM8,000 to Yilamaran as a token of appreciation for his achievement.
Congratulations, Yilamaran! You have proven that physical disadvantages are no barrier to one achieving greatness.
Wishing you all the best for greater successes in the future, and keep making your family, and the country proud!
Photo source: Facebook
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