KUALA LUMPUR – Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Cheah Liek Hou (picture) has set his sights on reclaiming the Asian Para Games gold medal when the next edition is held in Hangzhou, China, from Oct 9-15.
The two-time Asian Para Games champion, however, said this would depend on his condition in China.
“Right now my target is to grab the gold medal in Hangzhou but it all depends on my condition during the Games… if I’m in top shape, I’ll definitely aim for gold.
“I’m not a young player anymore, so I cannot go all out in every competition,” the 34-year-old para shuttler told Bernama when contacted recently.
Liek Hou, who won the Asiad Para gold medal twice in a row in Guangzhou, China in 2010 and Incheon, South Korea in 2014, had to settle for bronze in the last edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia in 2018.
Asked why he did not compete in the two back-to-back tournaments in Spain last month, the world number two said this was because he was a close contact with one of the national players who tested positive for COVID-19.
“No injury at all… but I was a close contact with one of my teammates and that’s why I did not participate in the two competitions in Spain,” he said.
In Liek Hou’s absence, wheelchair para badminton ace Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli emerged as a national hero when he won both tournaments in Spain.
Muhammad Ikhwan won the Spanish Para Badminton International II after beating Thomas Wandschneider 22-20, 22-24, 21-17 in the final before clinching a second successive title by subduing the same German player 21-12, 21-16 in the final of the Iberdrola Spanish Para Badminton International.