9th ASEAN Para Games 2017 - RIMAU MaskotMalaysia struck an unexpected gold in the men’s doubles wheelchair WH1-2 (impairment in one or both lower limbs) through Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli-Madzalan Saibon who upset defending champions and top seeds Junthong Dumnem-Jakarin Homhaul of Thailand 22-20, 21-19 in the final on Friday.

The Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, the venue for the badminton events, came alive as the the two pairs battled for supremacy in a 37 minute thriller that kept the fans on the edge of their seats throughout.

For Madzlan, whose left leg was amputated above after a motorbike accident in 1995, it was his second gold medal for the day, having earlier won the men’s singles WH2 gold medal, defeating Vietnam’s Truong Ngoc Binh 21-10, 21-10 in the final.

Ikhwan was a emotional man to win the doubles gold after losing the men’s singles (WH1) gold to top seed and defending champion Jakarin in three games 21-13, 16-21, 21-14 in the final.

“This is my first para games and this gold means a lot to me. I was down after losing in the men’s singles final but Madzlan consoled me and told me to put the defeat aside and look towards the doubles to redeem the defeat,” said Ikhwan.

“Madzlan’s words of encouragement motivated me in the doubles…and it did help me to play cool under pressure. One gold and one silver in my first para games in badminton is encouraging.”

Ikhwan revealed that before switching to badminton he was a basketball player and worked at the KFC call centre to earn a living.

“One year ago I joined MSN (National Sports Centre) and this wheelchair from MSN has changed my life for the better. I look forward to better things to come from now on,” added Ikhwan.

Men’s doubles – WH1-2

Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli-Madzlan Saibon (Mas) beat Junthong Dumnem-Jakarin Homhaul (Tha) 22-20, 21-19

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