S. Suresh: From A Life of Tragedy to a World Champion

  • 13 Jun 2019

Suresh Selvathamby is Malaysia's newest sensation. The para archer's name has been highlighted on every news site after he won gold at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in the Netherlands.

While it might seem like overnight fame to many, taking a glimpse into his painful journey towards the top proves that he's more than a champion -- he's a tough, fearless fighter!

The 25-year-old still remembers the hurtful words thrown at him and his mother before he became a world champion: "Your son is useless, only knows archery."

Born and bred in Kuala Ketil, Kedah, Suresh comes from a poor family. His father was a lorry driver and his mother worked at a factory. As the eldest son, he was the hope of his family to free them from the shackles of poverty.

The hope was shattered when Suresh was only 13, when he lost his leg in a tragic accident in his father's lorry when the latter was trying to reach for a mobile phone which had fallen inside the vehicle. Suresh's left leg had to be amputated after the accident.

Despite the tragedy, Suresh vowed to take care of his mother till her final days.

Two more tragedies followed suit, when his sister passed away just a month after his accident, and the father left the family later. Until today, no one knows the whereabouts of Suresh's father.

"To the critics who underestimated my poor family and said I didn't take care of my mother and my job was only shooting arrows, look at me now. S. Suresh, son to Dewani Chandran, is a world champion!

After a series of distressing events in his life and nearly giving up, Suresh found archery. It helped him rise and find a direction to succeed. He didn't see losing his left leg as a limitation, instead wore a prosthetic leg and trained hard to be where he is right now.

His efforts have paid off. As a champion, he is eligible to receive a total of RM80,000 as the 'Skim Hadiah Kemenangan Sukan' or Sports Victory Prize Scheme (SHAKAM). The Youth ministry is also considering to award a house to the para-athlete.

Source: Stadium Astro
Photo Credit: World Archery & Stadium Astro 

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