PHNOM PENH: Para runner Muhamad Nurdin Ibrahim is determined to contribute to sports for as long as his service is needed by the country.

The 26-year-old athlete bagged the last gold medal for the athletics squad in the men’s 5,000 metres (T20 - Intellectual impairment) and it did not cross his mind to leave the sporting world since his school days.

Muhamad Nurdin, who was choked with joy immediately after the victory, said it has been a long time since he last clinched a gold medal as his last victory was in the 1,500m T20 event at the 2015 Singapore edition.

“This is not my favourite event as I almost got overtaken during the final lap but I stepped up my speed until the finishing line.

“I didn’t expect it because the challenge was really intense. For me, I will be an athlete as long as I have the energy, I will do my best regardless of my competitors,“ he told reporters at the Morodok Techo Stadium tonight.

Earlier, Muhamad Nurdin or better known as ‘Din’ recorded 17 minutes 22.96 seconds (s) to win gold, while Thai runner Utha Junniw (17:23.59s) was in second place and Nasrodin Nasrodin of Indonesia came in third in 18:13.69s.

The third child of six siblings said the family’s hardships strengthened his resolve every time he participate in any international championship.

“I come from a poor family but I will go through this career as an athlete as I am not extravagant.

“My mother and father have separated but that is no reason not to be devoted to the family. Family is the first thing in my heart,“ he said.

Muhammad Nurdin’s gold medal saw the athletics squad close the competition in Cambodia with 14 gold, 15 silver and 10 bronze medals at the 2023 Asean Para Games (APG) today. - Bernama