KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 – Cheah Liek Hou put age aside as he bundled out Indonesia’s world number one Dheva Anrimusthi in straight games 21-17, 21-15 in 50 minutes to clinch the men’s singles gold in the SU5 category at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.
The 33-year-old, in the process, became the first winner of the shuttle gold offered at the Paralympic Games.
The gold was Malaysia’s second at the Tokyo Paralympics after powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Austin contributed the first in the Under-72kg powerlifting category.
Yoyogi National Stadium witnessed Liek Hou celebrate his success with tears flowing freely after his win over the top-seeded Indonesian, who is aged only 22.
He was so overwhelmed with joy that he had to be given a hand by coach Datuk Rashid Sidek, a bronze medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, to get up from the floor.
And, knowing that Rashid had given his game a lift, Liek Hou again gave his coach another hug to celebrate his victory and show his gratitude to the former Olympian and Thomas Cupper.
Back home in Malaysia, Liek Hou’s mother Jap Joe Tjin, his wife Dewi Febriana and other family members watched the live telecast of the match.
For the record, it was his mother who told him to pick badminton when he was undecided as he was equally good at table tennis.
“I am happy for him. He sacrificed a lot to achieve his dream. The family is happy for him as we all know that he was determined to succeed although he faced much younger opponents,” said Joe Tjin.
At the Tokyo Olympics Stadium, Malaysia achieved its three-gold medal target when Abdul Latif Romly with a 7.45m effort in his second jump. It turned out to be good enough for the Perlis-born 24-year-old in the T20 category.
It added another feather in his cap for Abdul Latif who picked up a groin injury in his fifth jump and did not make the last attempt. Abdul Latif, who is a two-time world champion, is the first Malaysian to retain his Paralympic title. He also holds the world record at 7.64m.
As the Negara Ku was heard loud and clear at the victory ceremony, shed tears for the country and the people of Malaysia.

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