Liek Hou bags sixth gold in Para Games without Rashid


In good stead: Cheah Liek Hou is on the right track to retain his world title. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Paralympic champion Cheah Liek Hou maintained his dominance at the Asean Para Games after securing his sixth men’s singles (SU5) gold in Solo, Indonesia, yesterday, without the presence of coach Rashid Sidek.

Liek Hou, who has been with Rashid for more than two years and won the Paralympic gold under the tutelage of the former Olympic bronze medallist, has resigned to the fact that he will be preparing for the 2024 Paris Paralympics under a new coach.

“Rashid has a new role with the National Sports Council (NSC) and he will not be coaching me anymore. The national para badminton team is expected to get a new coach and NSC will make an announcement soon,” said Liek Hou.

Rashid has been with the Malaysian shuttlers who competed at the Asean University Games which concluded in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, yesterday.

There is a strong possibility that Liek Hou’s former coach Nova Armada could be roped in by NSC to help the veteran and several other para shuttlers to prepare for 2024 Paris Paralympics.

Meanwhile, this year’s victory at the Asean Para Games is special as Liek Hou had beaten his nemesis Dheva Andrimusthi of Indonesia in the semi-finals on Thursday, the losing finalist in last year’s Tokyo Paralympics, before overcoming compatriot Fariz Asri 21-18, 21-14 in the final.

Except for a rare defeat to Indonesian rival Suryo Nugroho in Singapore in 2015, Liek Hou has been peerless in the singles and has also won the doubles six times with different partners since 2003.

Liek Hou said it was a good build-up for him ahead of the World Championships in Tokyo from Nov 1-6.

“Dheva was struggling a little as he is playing in front of the home crowd and there was some pressure on him compared to our match in Tokyo. The victory is also special as I am without a coach here,” said Liek Hou.

“I am on the right track to regain my world title and will use the next two months to prepare well for the major event.”

Malaysia also won another gold through Mohd Ikhwan Ramli in the wheelchair men’s singles (WH1) when he defeated Kornpeekanok Chatchai of Thailand 21-9, 21-11 in the final.

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