Sunday, August 25, 2019
TEXT BY GEETHANJALI LAKSHMAYYA | ALAN SPINK
Giuliana Poveda became Peru’s first Para badminton world champion when she won her finals match against Rachel Choong of England, at the TOTAL BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2019.
“This has been my dream for two years since I lost to Rachel in Korea. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life, to be the World Champion,” said the 18-year-old from Lima, Peru.
Expecting a lot more resistance from the English player, Poveda remained focused and relaxed, taking her women’s singles SS6 title in 22 minutes with a score of 21-19 21-19.
“I was not nervous and I did not get angry with myself when my shots did not win points. I think that was my advantage over her today. She’s a nice person and a good player, and it was an honour to be on court with her today,” explained Poveda.
India Add to their Vault
England had to settle for second again, this time when Daniel Bethell fell to India’s Pramod Bhagat in the men’s singles SL3 finals 21-6 14-21 5-21.
“Initially, I took the game lightly but I recovered and started playing strokes. I managed to read his game, found weak points and calculated that, and turned it into a victory for me,” explained Bhagat
A double world champion with titles in the men’s singles SL3 and men’s doubles SL3-SL4 with Manoj Sarkar, Bhagat has the same dream as all the Para badminton athletes competing here.
“This is a big achievement which I think will give me a good lead into the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. I think this can 90 percent confirm my dream of going to the Paralympics.”
Tarun gave India its fourth silver medal when he retired in his men’s singles SL4 final against Lucas Mazur.
Leading in the first game 14-13, Tarun took a tumble, twisting his knee and ending his dreams of a world title and a chance to avenge his 2017 loss to Mazur.
“This is not how I want to win. It’s sad. Tarun is one of the best athletes here and I was ready for a big match which could have gone to three games. I just feel bad for him and wish him a quick recovery,” said Mazur.
India takes home three gold and four silver medals.
Shephard Wins Again
Jack Shephard provided a reprieve for England when he retained his world title, defeating Wong Chun Yim 21-17 21-10 in the men’s singles SS6 finals.
Shephard who described his quarterfinal match against Didin Taresoh of Malaysia as the most testing one this week, was again made to work hard for the win, this time by Wong.
Attributing his success to hard work, determination and commitment, he said: “It’s a good feeling being World Champion twice but if you don’t work hard, you don’t get what you want. And there’s only one answer to what I want next – a Paralympic medal.”
Unbeatable Kim Jungjun
The best things come to those who wait and true enough, it was the last match of the day that provided the audience with a display of some of the most skillful badminton and on-court sportsmanship this week in Basel.
The two giants of wheelchair badminton, reigning champion Kim Jungjun of Korea and Chan Ho Yuen of Hong Kong China took to the court in the men’s singles WH2 final.
Chan, a hard hitter with an unusually high reach for a wheelchair athlete threw in a number of stinging smashes but it was Kim’s precise shots that prevailed in the end, giving the win to the Korean 21-18 13-21 21-18.
“I couldn’t help smiling each time his drop shots hit the mark. He’s just that good and I wanted him to see that I appreciate that,” said a disappointed Chan.
Kim, who with Lee Dong Seop had earlier lost in the men’s doubles WH1-2 to China’s Qu Zimao/Mai Jianpeng, appeared strong and fit against Chan.
“I was a little nervous at the start but I controlled the flow of the game. In the third there was a four-point difference and I thought I was going to lose it but I kept it together to win,” said Kim who now has four singles titles to his name.