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Monday, January 13, 2020

Visually impaired Paralympian sees a bright future in bowling

After losing his sight 18 years ago, Muhammad Hairul Miran is now a national Paralympian.
KUALA LUMPUR: Losing your sight is possibly one of the most difficult challenges that anyone can face.
Indeed, that was the fate that befell Malaysian bowling Paralympic athlete, Muhammad Hairul Miran, 42.
Acknowledging that losing his sight was a life-changing event, the man says that there was nothing he could do about it but struggle onwards.
Hairul explained that he was once sighted, but a tragic workplace accident 18 years ago took away his ability to see the beauty of the world around him.
“I wasn’t blind from birth. It happened while I was working in a factory in the operations department. During the accident, a chemical got into my eyes and that blinded me.”
In spite of his visual impairment, Hairul has brought home gold from many international events.
“I tried to seek surgery in Singapore, but that failed. I lost my purpose in life, despaired and gave up on life. I was overwhelmed by the eternal darkness, I could never see anything like I used to,” he told FMT.
Since then, he has learned to live with his visual impairment, learning to read Braille and finding suitable work in the form of a masseur in Brickfields.
“I know my movements are limited due to my blindness. But I can’t use that as an excuse to relinquish my responsibilities as the breadwinner of my family.”
“I was a masseur there from 2005 to 2016 and it was then that I became active in sports. I first took up javelin throwing,” he says.
Hairul prepares to get yet another strike during his practice session.
At first, Hairul expected nothing but hardship due to his blindness, but now, he has been selected to represent Malaysia on the world stage.
“I have never been active in sports before this, but I also never anticipated representing Malaysia!”
“It happened so fast. In July 2003, I was blind. In December of the same year, I was able to represent the country as a javelin thrower at the SEA Games in Vietnam.”
“God tested me for a moment and took away my blessings. And now he has given me endless blessings,” he said while shedding tears.
Hairul emphasised just how important the undivided support of his wife and children is in motivating him to continue his struggle as a visually impaired person.
Hairul shares a light moment with a fellow athlete.
“I married my wife after four years of blindness. We were friends before my accident. I am so thankful that she stayed by my side, and now we have three children together.”
“I am always saddened by the knowledge that I will never be able to look upon the beautiful faces of my children. But I can wager that they look a lot like me. They have never once said anything about their father being blind.”
Having switched over to bowling, Hairul has been making a name for himself since 2017 after winning four gold medals in the singles, doubles and trio matches during the 2017 Asean Para Games.
Malaysia’s Paralympians are just as capable and talented as their able-bodied counterparts.
He also brought home gold from the Eighth Asian Games held in Singapore in 2015.
“Who would have thought that this blind man would be granted the opportunity to travel to 13 countries, representing Malaysia.”
“If I were not blind, I would not have been able to represent Malaysia and bring glory to its name.”
He and his team are currently training for the upcoming 2020 Asean Para Games, slated to be held from March 20 to 28 in the Philippines. - FMT

 
 
 
 

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