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After 18-year await badminton to function in Paralympics, Malaysia’s Cheah Liek Hou strikes gold

AN 18-YEAR WAIT FOR PARALYMPIC GOLD

Cheah, a company communication graduate, first represented Malaysia in a global match within the ASEAN Para Video games in Vietnam when he was 15 years previous. 

The three gold medals he gained on the video games led an extended record of worldwide accolades that he would subsequently earn, together with 11 titles on the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships from 2005 to 2017

Badminton has been a part of his life since he was 9 when he picked the racquet sport as his college co-curricular actions. 

Rising via the ranks from district- and state-level contests to nationwide occasions in able-bodied badminton, he was despatched to be skilled professionally when he was round 12 years previous. 

Erb’s palsy didn’t trouble him an excessive amount of rising up, each out and in of the courts. A nationwide coach seen his weaker proper arm when he was 15 and launched him to the para video games. 

“I used to be so curious. I didn’t know badminton can be an occasion in para sports activities,” he recounted.   

Cheah performed in each able-bodied and para badminton matches – bringing the talents and expertise sparring with high able-bodied athletes to the para video games, and vice versa – for a couple of years. 

He realised he couldn’t progress in able-bodied occasions when he approached the age of 20. Discovering the matches more and more difficult, he determined to deal with para occasions. 

Nevertheless, after bagging world titles and Asian titles over the last decade, Cheah’s enthusiasm started to wane. He began specializing in his company job and spent much less time on coaching. “My stage dropped,” he recounted.

It was information about badminton being confirmed as an occasion within the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics for the primary time ever in 2017 that reignited his preventing spirit.

He additionally felt threatened by Dheva, a rising participant 10 years his junior who quashed him in competitions simply. “It was a bit of cake for him,” Cheah recalled. 

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