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January 9, 2005

DEAFLYMPICS: Zana has to settle for bronze

From: New Straits Times, Malaysia - Jan 9, 2005

Tony Mariadass in Melbourne

Jan 09:

WHAT could have been a gold medal chance for Zana Azizul Ujang turned to bronze in the 110 metres hurdles at the Deaflympics at the Olympic Stadium in Melbourne yesterday.

Zana, who went into the race as the defending champion from the 2001 Games in Rome, lost his concentration when there were three foul starts. Poland's Konstanty Bakowski won in 15.86 seconds from Ukraine's Yaroslav Prokopenko, who clocked 16.17s.

Zana, who clocked 16.45 with a tail-wind of 2.6, said after the race that he could have won had it not been for the three foul starts.

"I was rattled by the foul starts, and it was made even worse when all the runners were faulted for the second start. Another foul start would have seen me disqualified," said Zana through a sign interpreter.

"But I still had a good start and was leading for the first five hurdles, but I miss-timed my step and hit a hurdle.

"And when I hit two more, my rhythm was gone and I barely hung on for the bronze.

"It is really disappointing because I was confident of beating Bakowski."

Malaysia's other hurdler, Wan Mohd Hirwan Wan Hassan, whose pet event is the 400m hurdles, finished fourth in 17.89.

Zana will get a chance to make good when he races in the 400m hurdles on Tuesday, but Hirwan is expected to be a big threat. Zana and Hirwan qualified for the 400m hurdles final yesterday morning when only eight athletes were left after several had pulled out. In tenpin bowling — the other sport which saw the Malaysians in action yesterday — a medal in the men's doubles went up in smoke when Mohd Firdaus Mohamad and Mohd Zaidi Awang, bowling in the first squad of three, finished third.

By the end of the second squad, they dropped to fourth and after the final squad, they finished sixth.

Firdaus and Zaidi had a total of 2,345 from the respective total of 1,142 and 1,203.

Firdaus had lines of 146, 179, 174, 267, 178 for 190.3 average, while Zaidi managed 182, 231, 181, 171, 233 and 205 for a 200.5 average.

The Dutch pair of Frank Braan and Martin Visser took the gold with a 2,487 total, while Taiwan's Chiu Ching-Ling and Chang Li-Hsiao, bowling in the third and final squad, took the silver with their total of 2,467.

The US pair of Joe Thomson and Dareel Stogryn took the bronze with a total of 2,371.

The badminton team and swimmer Jimmy Wong are in action today. The badminton players, led by Thomas Teh Cheang Hock, will compete in the singles individual event, while Jimmy will see action in the 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley.

RESULTS — 110m hurdles: 1 Konstanty Bakowski (Pol) 15.86; 2 Yaroslav Prokopenko (Ukr) 16.17; 3 Zana Azizul Ujang (Mas) 16.45; 4 Wan Mohd Hirwan Wan Hassan (Mas) 17.89; 5 Subir Kumar Nayak (Ind) 19.83; 6 Nikolay Shaporev (Rus) 21.73.

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