KUALA LUMPUR: National recurve archer S Suresh has become world champion in his event, winning the gold medal today at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships.
He is the first Malaysian to have won the world crown.
Suresh, 25, from Kedah, defeated Eric Bennett (United States) 7-3 in the final today in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
He advanced to the final after edging Bato Tsydendorzhiev of Russia, 7-3 in the semi-finals, and had earlier eliminated the defending champion Zhao Lixue in the quarter-finals.
Bato settled for third place after winning against Iranian Pouriya Jalalipour 6-0 in the bronze medal match.
Suresh had already confirmed his berth to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games as a top two finisher.
The last Malaysian to win a medal at the world meet was the late Salam Sidik, who won bronze in the 2011 edition.
National para archery coach, Marzuki Zakaria said Suresh deserved the world title for his hard work and focus throughout the tournament.
“We are very happy and thankful to Allah because we achieved our target, whereby Suresh qualifies for the Paralympics. The gold medal is a bonus for us.
“Suresh had done his best, I am very happy with his performance today. He was calm and gave his 120%. To me, he has the right and deserves to be world champion,” he said when contacted in the Netherlands.
Last month, Suresh won the recurve men’s silver medal at the Fazza para world ranking tournament in Dubai.