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Thomas Wandschneider and Martin Rooke collecting their European Championships medals, Rodez (photo credit : Mark Phelan / Badminton Europe)
2018 highlights - Wheelchair classes
Date: 12/29/2018 2:03 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Rooke and Wandschneider reach world number 1 spot in WH1-2 Men’s Doubles after an emphatic European Championships performance



Little did they know that by clinching the European Championships men’s doubles title in France last month, Martin Rooke and Thomas Wandschneider also fulfilled a career ambition by reaching number 1 in the world rankings.


The priority for Germany’s Wandschneider and Team GB’s Rooke was the successful defence their respective European men’s singles titles, and hopes to make it 2 golds each with the men’s doubles title. Neither man had an eye on the rankings. Rooke had this to say..


“the European Championships performance was key for me this year. A great performance from both Thomas and Myself in the singles, and together in the doubles. We were physically strong and that showed in the tournament. Our biggest win might have been that semi-final in Ireland months earlier, 25-23 in the 3rd against Amir and David! Crucial for our results and our confidence heading towards the Euros. 


I had no idea we were that close in the rankings. Total surprise. Becoming world number 1 is just a bonus really. All my concentration was on getting back to fitness and playing a good level. Thomas and I were on the same wave-length about what we wanted to achieve.


My Team and I are working hard back in training now, a few months before Paralympic Qualifying starts. I’ll be focusing on men’s singles. A really tough year ahead for me and Team GB and I can’t wait to get going!”




READ: It has been a good year for European Badminton




Wandschneider climbs to world number 2 in the WH1 men’s singles after securing the European title and a series of semi-final performances in Thailand, Denmark and Spain this year. Hot on his heels, France’s David Toupe stays at world number 6 with Germany’s Young-Chin Mi at 11.


Whilst Rooke maintains world number 6 in the WH2 singles, Israel’s Amir Levi climbs to 4 with a gold in Brazil and a final spot at the Euros. Both Levi and Germany’s world number 7 Rick Hellman were solid through the year with medals at various international events.



Valeska eyes world number 1


Just one-hundred points separates Thai world number 1 Sujirat Pookkham and Valeska Knoblauch as the German WH1 rising-star collects the most ranking points of any player this year. 


Knoblauch secured victory in Ireland and in Denmark this year as she began to challenge Swiss rival Karin Suter-Erath for the first time in her career. With two wins under her belt by the Autumn, the German came up against Suter-Erath in the European Championships final by which point the Swiss former world number one had featured in 3 international finals in 2018 and lost in each one.


The stage was set for an epic. The Rodez crowds at the European Championships were not disappointed as Knoblauch and Suter-Erath battled back and forth at the end of a third game which ended 28-26 in favour of the German. No doubt the most tense and exciting moment of the Para-Badminton year.





Suter-Earth congratulating Knoblauch on that European Final, Rodez (photo credit: Mark Phelan / Badminton Europe)



European WH2 women’s success has been dominated this year by Turkish teammates Emine Seckin and Narin Uluc. The European Championships final a repeat of the international final in Dubai some months previous where Seckin proved her worth and retained her 2014 and 2016 European titles.



VIEW: Photos from the European Para-Badminton Championships 2018 here



Look out for our 2018 Highlights - Standing and Short-Stature article tomorrow on our website, Facebook and the Badminton Live app.

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