CHEAH Liek Hou proved once again he is on the right track for the men’s singles gold in the SU5 category (impairment in upper body) at the Tokyo Paralympics.
The Malaysian won the Peru Para International Championships in Lima yesterday. Last week, he won the Brazil Para International SU5 crown.
In beating Taiwan’s Fang Jen Yu 21-17, 18-21, 21-16 in the final, Liek Hou showed he has the ability to get going when the going gets tough.
Liek Hou, 32, admitted that he lost focus midway through the final. However, he recovered well to prevail in 55 minutes.
Like Hou appeared to be in control when he won the first game 21-17, and led 11-4 in the second. But he took his foot off the pedal and allowed the Taiwan shuttler to make a comeback.
But with Olympian Rashid Sidek guiding him as coach, Liek Hou regained his composure for his second title in South America.
“I lost concentration (against Jen Yu) and started making unforced errors but Rashid was there to help me deal with the situation.
“Rashid has done a lot in helping me prepare for the Paralympics. He also taught me the techniques of able-bodied shuttlers, and this has made me a better player.”
Liek Hou pointed out that Jen Yu is one of the contenders for gold at the Tokyo Paralympics.
“My quest for gold (at the Tokyo Paralympics) is on the right track.
But I will treat every opponent with respect,” said Liek Hou.
Rashid said it could have easily been a straight-game victory for Liek Hou but he felt the experience will also do the latter a world of good.
“His performance in the Brazil Para was quite solid. We will iron out the shortcomings for the next tournament.”
Liek Hou will have a 10-day training stint in Kuala Lumpur before he competes in the Spanish Para International in Murcia on March 10-15, the final qualiifer for the Tokyo Paralympics.