Coach Nova applauds Liek Hou for another win but warns against overconfidence

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Cheah Liek Hou will approach the Paris Paralympics in August with a spring in his step after capturing the Four Nations Para Badminton International title.

Liek Hou was in his element as he beat Taiwan’s Fang Jen-yu 21-12, 21-19 in the men’s singles SU5 (upper body impairment) final in Glasgow yesterday.

The 36-year-old underlined his credentials as the favourite to retain the gold that he won in the 2021 Tokyo edition as he stayed cool to stave off a fightback from Jen-yu in the second game to come out on top in what was his last competition before the Paris showpiece.

Liek Hou’s coach Nova Armada was pleased with his charge’s form before the Paralympics.

Liek Hou shows no signs of slowing down despite his age, having also won his eighth World Championships title in the men’s singles in Pattaya in February.

“This is a good win for Liek Hou as it increases his confidence ahead of the Paralympics,” said Nova.

“Liek Hou is in good form now and he just needs to maintain his fitness and avoid injuries.”

Despite Liek Hou’s status as the favourite to win gold in Paris, Nova does not want his charge to underestimate any opponent.

“This tournament (Four Nations International) gave Liek Hou the opportunity to study his opponents in Paris,” said Nova.

“He cannot afford to take anyone lightly and needs to prepare well to face everyone.”

Nova was also satisfied with another Paralympics-bound player, Fareez Anuar’s showing in the Four Nations International.

Fareez made it into the last four before going down fighting 19-21, 23-21, 17-21 to Liek Hou.

“Fareez met the target set for him by reaching the semi-finals,” said Nova.

“His performance was good and this result will push him to do well in Paris.”

Meanwhile, Mohd Ikhwan Ramli, who has also qualified for the Paralympics, finished runners-up in the men’s singles WH1 (wheelchair) event after going down 14-21, 15-21 to Choi Jung-man of South Korea.

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