Yang Qiuxia of China avenged her 2017 World Championships loss to Japan’s Ayako Suzuki by defeating the Japanese 17-21 21-17 21-5 in the women’s singles SU5 final at the TOTAL BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2019.
“I think this time it came down to my mental strength. Suzuki has been a dominant player for so long and highly respected, but I was prepared for this,” said Yang.
Suzuki, 31 years old, and a decade younger than her opponent, said: “Coming second is frustrating but I glad managed to stay in the game and fought to the finish.”
Suzuki who is intent of carrying on her journey towards achieving a Paralympic gold medal, shared her observations on the rise in popularity of Para badminton, especially when being held concurrently with the World Championships for able-bodied athletes.
“It’s the best way to develop Para badminton as more people are coming to watch and becoming aware of our sport,” said Suzuki.
China triumphed again, this time in the men’s doubles WH 1-2, when Qu Zimao/Mai Jianpeng defeated Korea’s Kim Jungjun/Lee Dong Seop 18-21 21-18 21-15.
In the 79-minute battle, the Chinese attack seemed focused on Lee while Kim struggled to cover for his partner.
“All the shuttles were coming towards me and after a while it was hard to keep up the speed and my physical strength,” said Lee, who will face Qu in the men’s singles WH1 later today.
Qu will no doubt be hoping to take advantage of Lee’s fatigue when they face off in the men’s singles WH1 later today. “I have a lot of respect for Lee and he’s very experienced but I’m younger and faster.”
While Kim and Lee may not be satisfied with the doubles silver, both have singles matches that offer them another chance at the world titles in their respective singles categories.
Leani Ratri Oktila added one more gold medal to her collection when she and mixed doubles SL3-SU5 partner Hary Susanto defeated Germany’s Jan-Niklas Pott and Katrin Seibert 21-4 21-11.
The German’s have a had a good run in the tournament and are the only representatives from their nation to make it to the finals.
“It’s a special feeling, even getting the silver. It means that we’re on track to win more points towards Tokyo 2020,” said Pott.
There was a general satisfaction at playing the matches in the main arena which was reserved for the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 until today.
“I enjoyed it very much, playing in the hall where all the big stars are playing,” said Seibert.
“It’s definitely better than the smaller halls because the lights and playing conditions are good, and the atmosphere is grand,” said Oktila.
“Definitely a much better atmosphere. Better lighting and better flooring for wheelchairs,” said Kim.