JOHOR BARU: The Johor royal family and the state government have congratulated Chew Wei Lun for winning Malaysia’s first-ever medal in boccia at the Tokyo Paralympics.
In a Facebook post, the royal family congratulated the Johor Baru-born Chew.
Meanwhile, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state government would be rewarding Chew.
Expressing his congratulations and appreciation to the athlete, he said the 26-year-old put on a mighty performance in his Paralympics debut to give the country another medal.
“The state government wants to show our appreciation and congratulations to Chew, and I will bring up the issue of a reward during the state executive meeting on Monday (Sept 6),” he said after presenting 8,000 laptops to the state Education Department here on Thursday (Sept 2).
On Wednesday (Sept 1), Chew etched his name in Malaysian sporting history as the first athlete to win a medal in boccia, a sport which resembles lawn bowls – in his very first attempt.
He also helped boccia become only the fifth sport after weightlifting, athletics, powerlifting and archery to contribute a medal for the national contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Chew, with his distinctive gold-coloured hair, did the country proud with outstanding performances throughout the competition.
The world No.11 turned in a giant-killing display including beating world No.2 Witsanu Huatpradit of Thailand to stay unbeaten in six matches heading into Wednesday’s BC1 individual final against world No.1 David Smith of Britain.
Chew met his match in Smith, and went down fighting 4-2 in a thrilling gold medal match at the Ariake Arena.
Despite trailing 0-2, Smith fought back to record a 4-2 win to retain his gold medal won in Rio 2016.
Chew’s feat at the Paralympics marked his best-ever result since he first picked up the sport at age 19.
He also won silver at the Hong Kong Open in 2019 and 2015 Asean Para Games in Singapore.
“My intention coming to the Paralympics was to promote boccia. I didn’t expect to go all the way to the final and win the silver,” said Chew.
“As for this medal, I want to dedicate it to my team and the sport of boccia in Malaysia.
“I also hope that by winning a medal here, more Malaysians will get to know about this sport,” he said.