Award buzz just icing on the cake for Liek Hou

PETALING JAYA: Cheah Liek Hou (pic) has been named as one of the nominees for the male para badminton Player of the Year award but the Paralympics champion is not jumping with jubilation over the news.

The list, announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), has other regular winners on the para calendar including Pramot Bhagat of India (SL3), Daiki Kajiwara of Japan (wheelchair 2), Frenchman Lucas Mazur (SL4), Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai (SH6) and South Korea’s Choi Jung-man (wheelchair 1) from various men’s singles categories.

Liek Hou, who has won 14 straight titles since 2019, has been the undisputed No. 1 in the SU5 category (upper body impairment) and could be announced as the winner during the BWF’s gala dinner on Dec 5.

However, Like Hou said that he is already satisfied after winning the Paralympics gold in Tokyo last year and the world title in the same city last month. Nothing makes him happier than that.

“I’m not too sure how the winners are selected. I have been nominated several times before and have never won it. But it is not something that gets me excited so much,” said Liek Hou.

“There are other nominated players who have won a lot more than me.

“I’m happy that I am able to win the Paralympics gold and also the world title again this year and nothing makes me happier than these achievements.

“I am also glad that I am able to continue playing at the highest level. I look forward to playing at the 2024 Paris Paralympics.”

Besides Liek Hou, wheelchair men’s doubles pair Noor Azwan Noorlan-Ikhwan Ramli have also been nominated for World Para Badminton Pair of the Year award.

Men’s doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have been nominated in the BWF Pair of the Year award where they are in contention with China’s women’s doubles world champions Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan, another Chinese pair, mixed doubles Olympic champions Zheng Siwei-Huang Dongping and Thailand’s mixed doubles combo Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

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