PETALING JAYA: His name may not ring a bell, but S. Suresh has made the nation proud when he won the men’s recurve gold at the World Archery Para Cham-pionships in Hertogenbosch, Holland.
The 25-year-old from Kedah, who has a prosthetic leg, shrugged off a slow start to defeat 2015 world champion Eric Bennett from the United States 7-3 (26-28, 26-26, 27-25, 26-25, 29-27) yesterday.
Suresh can thank his lucky stars after he got two breaks in the tense showdown.
Bennett could have gone 4-0 up had he not fumbled with his third arrow in the second set.
Leading 19-17, the American went on to shoot a seven which paved the way for Suresh to earn a precious point after he calmly hit a nine to make it 26-all.
And lady luck was smiling on Suresh again.
The fourth set was supposed to end in a 25-all draw but Suresh was awarded a nine instead of an eight after a countback.
He won 26-25 to race 5-3 ahead and with his confidence brimming, he went on to seal the title.
His victory is set to net him RM80,000 under the National Sports Council’s incentive scheme.
Suresh’s feat marked Malay-sia’s best-ever achievement at a major meet after Hasihin Nawawi won a silver at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The only other Malaysian who had won at the world championships was the late Salam Sidik in Turin in 2011. He won a bronze.
Suresh can now take aim at the Tokyo Paralympics next year after he booked his ticket by virtue of being the top 16 finishers in Hertogenbosch.