Para athlete has great chance to book Tokyo spot

Stellar performance: Malaysia’s Abu Samah Borhan (right) beat compatriot Mohd Yusshazwan Yusuf to win the Eureka Cup Taiwan Open final in Taipei.

PETALING JAYA: Wheelchair tennis player Abu Samah Borhan is knocking on the Tokyo Paralympic doors following a smashing performance at the Eureka Cup Taiwan Open.

The 35-year-old top seed, however, had to dig deep to beat fellow Malaysian Mohd Yusshazwan Yusuf 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 in the final on Sunday.

Yusshazwan also returned home a winner after he partnered Abu Samah to beat Taiwan’s Liao Ke-sung-Chia Yang-tai 6-1, 6-2 in the doubles final.

Abu Samah and Yusshazwan, who received special clearance to compete in Taiwan, guaranteed an all-Malaysian final with semi-final victories over Chen Chun-chieh 6-0, 6-0 and Yang-tai 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 respectively.

Abu Samah is one of the para athletes under the Road to Tokyo Paralympic and his latest achievement will enhance his chances of making the cut to Tokyo next year.

Abu Samah, who is paralysed waist down after a road accident 14 years ago, is currently 44th in the world and needs to make the top 40 by end of June next year to realise his second Paralympic appearance.

He credits his wife of 11 years Norisah Bahrom, who is also a wheelchair tennis player, for putting his life back on track.

“My wife is 10 years older than me. She’s been in a wheelchair longer than me, yet she is independent and has her own career.

“She shared a lot of her experiences and is my source of inspiration.

“She was the one who introduced the sport to me and encouraged me to focus on it full time.

“I have been to the Rio Paralympics and I hope to play in Tokyo, too,” added Abu Samah, a double gold medallist when Malaysia hosted the Asean Para Games in 2017.

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