Paralympic badminton player
Six-time para-badminton world champion Cheah Liek Hou became the first Paralympic gold winner in the sport at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
A six-time para-badminton world champion with eleven world championship gold medals under his belt, Cheah Liek Hou went on to clinch a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in the men’s singles category on 4 September 2021. His victory also made him the first Paralympic gold medallist in para-badminton, which debuted in Tokyo as an official Paralympics event.
The KL-born athlete was born with Erb’s palsy, causing his right hand to have a lack of strength and stability. However, that did not stop him from taking up badminton when he was nine years old. During his early years, Cheah played in yards and on the streets, chasing shuttles carried by the occasional breeze, which could have contributed to his highly changeable, fluid, play style today. His mother, Joe Tjin, noticed his son’s talent in the sport; and with her encouragement, Cheah joined the Bukit Jalil Sports school to train.
Cheah was initially a part of the National Youth Team, which he joined at the age of 15. In 2003, he was invited to compete in a para-badminton tournament. At the time, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) wanted to train para-badminton players and Cheah seemed the perfect fit. He won both the singles and doubles events at the 2005 Para-Badminton World Championships and has since been unstoppable. In addition to the world championship and Paralympic titles, Cheah is also a multiple medal winner of the Asian Para Games and ASEAN Para Games.
Gold, Spanish Para International Badminton Championship
Gold, Dubai Para-Badminton International Championship
Gold, Brazil Para-Badminton International Championship
Gold, Peru Para-Badminton International Championship 2020
Gold, Japan Para-Badminton International Championship
Gold, Denmark Para-Badminton International Championship
Did You Know?
Cheah almost quit the sport in 2015 when he realised that para-badminton was not then part of the Paralympics.