Malaysian para shuttlers do country proud by bagging three titles in Dubai

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Malaysia continued to excel on the international badminton scene after national para shuttlers completed a triple sweep at the Dubai Para Badminton International Finals on Sunday.

Cheah Liek Hou, ranked second in the world, put on a scintillating display to beat world number one Dheva Anrimushti of Indonesia to win 14-21, 22-20, 21-18 in a 69-minute battle to win the SU5 men’s singles title.

“I’m just too tired to celebrate for now, it was a crazy battle. It’s my target to beat both Dheva and Suryo (Nugroho) in Dubai and I am happy to have achieved both. These were important wins in the run-up to the Tokyo Paralympics,” Liek Hou told The Star.

The Malaysian had earlier beaten world number three Suryo in straight games to reach the final.

With this win, Cheah showed his quality to be among the favourites to win gold at the Tokyo Paralympics in August.

Victory also meant Cheah secured his fifth consecutive title, having won in Denmark, Japan, Brazil, and Peru between late 2019 and February last year, before the pandemic struck.

Ikhwan Ramli and Noor Azwan Noorlan secured the hat-trick of titles for the country by winning the WH1 (wheelchair) and WH2 (wheelchair) men’s singles events respectively.

Ikhwan defeated France’s David Toupe 23-21, 21-13, while Noor Azwan overcame Germany’s Rick Hellman 18-21, 21-18, 21-12.

Didin Taresoh failed to make it a fourth title for Malaysia after he lost 17-21, 18-21 to India’s Nagar Krishna in the SH6 men’s singles final.