Liek Hou may still be in the running for 2028 Paralympics gold

Cheah Liek Hou

PETALING JAYA: Para shuttler Cheah Liek Hou is not ruling out the possibility of competing in the 2028 Paralympics in Los Angeles.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had recently confirmed that para badminton which made its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Games, will be one of the events contested in the Los Angeles showpiece.

Reigning Paralympics champion Liek Hou will turn 40 in 2028 but he is keeping his options open despite earlier stating that he will consider retiring from the sport after the 2024 Games in Paris.Undisputed: Para shuttler Cheah Liek Hou posing next to the Jalur Gemilang at the Olympic Village during the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021.Undisputed: Para shuttler Cheah Liek Hou posing next to the Jalur Gemilang at the Olympic Village during the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021.

“I won’t say that the 2024 Paralympics in Paris will be my last major event.

“My decision (to continue playing) will depend on my physical condition.

“If my condition is still good, I will go on to compete in the 2028 edition,” said Liek Hou.

Liek Hou was pleased that para badminton will be contested once again in the 2028 Games.

“I’m glad that the sport will be contested in 2028. This is good for para badminton as all the athletes will continue to give their best in tournaments.

“This will also be a good opportunity for those who want to fulfil their dreams of competing in the Paralympics and winning medals.

“The government will also definitely support us in achieving our targets,” said Liek Hou.

For now, the 34-year-old wants to focus fully on qualifying for the Paris Games.

Liek Hou will get his quest under way when he competes in his first tournament of the year – the Spanish International from Feb 20-26 in Vitoria.“I need to accumulate as many ranking points as possible to make the cut for the Olympics.

“Only those in the top six in the world can qualify,” said Liek Hou, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the SU5 (upper body impairment) category.

Liek Hou last saw action in the World Championships last November where he captured gold in the men’s singles and silver in the men’s doubles with Mohd Faris Azri.

“I’m not in my best condition as I haven’t competed in tournaments since the world meet.

“So, my aim is to regain my match fitness in Spain and I don’t want to think about winning the tournament yet,” said Liek Hou.

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