Liek Hou Czech-mates opponent in fine start to world title defence

PETALING JAYA: Para shuttler Cheah Liek Hou got his world title defence off to a good start by easily beating Czech Republic’s Bartlomiej Mroz 21-14, 21-9 in Group A in Pattaya yesterday.

Liek Hou, who is also the reigning Paralympics gold medallist, is bidding to capture his eighth World Championships title in the men’s singles SU5 (upper body impairment).

The 35-year-old was pleased with the smooth start to his campaign.

“Overall, I would say it’s an acceptable start for me. I’m still getting used to the court conditions here,” said Liek Hou.

“My opponent is not so strong as this is just the group stage. I hope to continue performing well in my next matches.”

Liek Hou will next face South Korea’s Kim Gi-yeon.

The former also combined well with Fareez Anuar in the men’s doubles to beat Thailand’s Pricha Somsiri-Nattaphon Thaweesap 23-21, 21-14 in a Group B match.

Liek Hou and Fareez will meet Spain’s Manuel Garcia-Pablo Serrano next.

Fareez swept aside India’s Dev Rathi 21-12, 21-7 for his second win in the singles in Group H and will take on China’s Shi Shengzhuo today.

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles WH1 (wheelchair) event, Mohd Ikhwan Ramli bounced back from a 12-21, 13-21 defeat to China’s Yang Tong in his first match to claim a hard fought 21-11, 17-21, 21-13 victory over Thailand’s Anuwat Sriboran in Group C.

Ikhwan will take on India’s Prem Kumar next.

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