Malaysia’s Suresh Selvathamby wins para world title at first world championships

Suresh Selvathamby of Malaysia beat the USA’s Eric Bennett in five sets to become the new world champion in the recurve men’s open category at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

“I’m so happy. I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. These are my first championships and I got champion,” said Suresh.

It was a second dramatic final, after the recurve men’s team gold medal match, for Bennett on finals day at these championships.

The 45-year-old, who was world champion at Donaueschingen 2015, opened the match better and built a 3-1 lead. But that was as far as he would get – as Selvathamby rallied and won three consecutive sets. 

It was in the fourth set of the match that the Malaysian archer showed his mental strength. His first arrow landed in the seven. However, it was followed by a nine and a 10. He took the lead 5-3 as the American shot 25 to his 26 points.

Despite Bennett's 10 with his first arrow of the final set, Selvathamby stayed focused, finishing with 29 points and securing the title.

“It wasn’t difficult. For me it was easy. I just did my best,” said Suresh.

The Malaysian para archer arrived in ’s-Hertogenbosch as world number 35. He leaves the Dutch city a world champion.

Russia’s Bato Tsydendorzhiev took recurve men’s open bronze. He defeated Iranian athlete Pouriya Jalalipour, 6-0.

The 2019 World Archery Para Championships took place on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.