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Finding the right measure

SHUTTLER Cheah Liek Hou has set himself a big challenge.
He wants to take his badminton career to a higher level by playing against able-bodied shuttlers in competitions.
First, the 29-year-old wants to prove himself in two upcoming major tournaments – the Kuala Lumpur Asean Para Games, which begins today, and the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Busan, South Korea, in November.
“It all depends on how I fare in these two tournaments. If I do well, I’ll look at moving to competitions for the able-bodied. I believe I can make it,” said Liek Hou.
Liek Hou, born with Erb’s palsy (where the nerves of his upper arm were damaged during delivery), is taking part in men’s singles and doubles SU5 events at the KL Games.
He is teaming up with Hairol Fozi Saaba in the doubles.
SU5 is for athletes who have impairment in their upper limbs only.
Liek Hou said he has a score to settle at the KL Games after missing on a double glory at the previous Games in Singapore two years ago.
Then, he won the men’s doubles gold with Hairol but lost in the men’s singles event.
“I was ill-prepared then. I lacked training and I could not push myself to win a double. This time, I’m better prepared,” said Liek Hou.
Last week, the stout shuttler showed that he was shaping up well for the KL Games when he bagged the singles and doubles titles with Hairol at the inaugural Japan Para-Badminton International tournament in Tokyo.
He also did well this year to win two titles each at the Spain Open and Thailand Open.
Liek Hou is no stranger in the world of badminton.
He came through five years of training under former world champion Han Jian at the SP Setia academy and four years under Sun Chenhua at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
“We don’t have many para tournaments. So, we really go out to win whenever there is a chance to play,” he said.
On his partnership with Hairol, he said: “We’ve been playing together since 2015. We complement one another and there is good chemistry between us.”
Liek Hou and Hairol will also be out to defend their world title in South Korea this year. They combined superbly to emerge as world champions in England in 2015.
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