The last of the group matches were rounded up today to take the athletes into the main draw of the TOTAL BWF World Para-Badminton Championships 2019.
There was an overall feeling of satisfaction, if not relief, as players now prepare for that next step which will take them closer to their respective titles.
England’s Krysten Coombs topped his men’s singles SS6 group after defeating Niall McVeigh of Ireland 21-13 -21-10.
“We’ve had previous battles. In the first, it took time to get into it but by the second, I started to feel right but I caught him on the top of his eye with a backhand. Still, it just took time to get going but it’s great and now I’m looking forward to the week,” said Coombs.
McVeigh, whose loss to Coombs puts him second in the group, won the World Champion SS6 title in 2011.
“I always have a great time playing Krysten. The game has changed massively over the years. When I first started there were maybe seven of us and now there are more than 30 of us here in our category. Back home, I’m having to train full time because everyone is so good and there is so much competition,” he said.
David Toupe of France took the lead in his group in men’s singles WH1 when he beat Malaysia’s Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli 21-14 21-18.
“The last time we met, he took me to three games so this feels good. I pushed him into hitting shots to the back and that helped me gain points,” said Toupe.
In the men’s doubles WH1-2, Japan’s Daiki Kajiwara/Hiroshi Murayama ousted Vietnam’s Hoang Giang Manh/Truong Ngoc Binh 21-11 21-9 to make it to the next round.
“This is the first time we’ve played against the Vietnam pair and we we’re worried so we watched videos of their matches before going in to play them. But it all worked out so we’re really happy to move to the next round,” said Murayama.
Chan Ho Yuen of Hong Kong China and Korea’s Kim Jungjun are both through to the elimination rounds and if things go as they have planned, will be coming up against each other on court in the finals.
Chan overcame Ilya Pargeev of Russia 21-11 21-5 while Kim took out Switzerland’s Luca Olgiati 21-13 21-8.
“We think we’re doing well overall. India is usually strong but this time their smashes were not too difficult to take so we received well and that gave us the win. We have China next before the next round but the toughest pair will be the Indonesians Dheva and Hafizh.” – Thailand’s Watcharaphon Chok-Uthaikul, after his win with partner Pricha Somsiri, against India’s Chirag Baretha/Sumith Kumar Garg 22-20 21-18 in the men’s doubles SU5 category.