PETALING JAYA: Para shuttler Cheah Liek Hou has enough quality sparring partners to make him a winner at the Paralympics.
And coach Rashid Sidek hopes he will make full use of it.
Currently, Liek Hou trains with Rashid and several former international singles players such as Liew Daren, Soong Joo Ven, Lim Chi Wing, Yeoh Seng Zoe and Iskandar Zulkarnain at the Sports Affairs Academy.
Rashid said training against high-ranked able-bodied singles players would help in his transition from focusing two events to just one – the singles in the SU5 class (impairment in upper body).
Liek Hou is a six-time singles champion and five-time doubles winner in the world meet.
Badminton is introduced for the first time at the Paralympics in Tokyo next year but the hosts have dropped the doubles event in his category.
Rashid said the situation could not have been better for Liek Hou.
“It is disappointing that, like the able-bodied, Liek Hou and other para athletes do not have any competitions for them, ” said Rashid.
“But during this break without any tournaments, he is getting quality training.
“He needs time to adjust from playing two events to just singles and this is the perfect time.
“He has good able-bodied singles players to train with.
“He can get tips from Daren, Joo Ven and the rest.
“This is the best way for Liek Hou to improve, ” added Rashid, who is happy with Liek Hou’s commitment in training.
The 32-year-old has done well since training under Rashid in 2018.
Last year, he upstaged world No. 1 Dheva Anrimusthi of Indonesia for the first time since 2017 at the Brazil Para-Badminton International.