General

Young-Chin Mi and Valeska Knoblauch full of smiles (photo credit : Valeska Langstrumpf)
Mixed bag of results in the Mixed Doubles on Day One
Date: 9/26/2018 3:04 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Day One at the Japan Para-Badminton International saw some thrilling results in the WH1-2 mixed doubles group stages.



European Performance of the day goes to Germany’s Young-Chin Mi and Valeska Knoblauch in the wheel-chair mixed doubles.  Their first match of the day proved to be their toughest, against the home nation’s Tsutomo Shimada and Chiemi Ogata. After a close run opening game at 21-18, the Germans wasted a match point late in the second and lost the set 20-22. Recomposed in the third game, they went on to win 21-15. 


With wins over the Koreans and Canadians later in the day, Mi and Knoblauch proved their second seed status and topped the group to move into the knock-out stages.




Read : Christiansen and Pedersen lay down and early marker




Others fall at the last hurdle



Tragedy elsewhere as not one but two top European pairs crash out of the tournament in excruciating style. 


Rick Hellmann (GER) and Cynthia Mathez (SUI) were set to become the heroes of the day after a 21-19, 14-21, 21-19 victory over the seeded Koreans in Group C. With that win, and a 2 game win over the Canadian-Korean pairing later, we thought Hellmann and Mathez were cruising towards the knockouts. However a 2 game defeat to strong Japanese opponents, who managed to win two of their matches in 2 games meant that our would-be-heroes went out of the group on game-difference.


In Group D, David Toupe and Emmanuelle Ott of France faced similar heartbreak after first losing to Kajiwara and Kobayashi (JPN) 24-22, 18-21, 20-22 and then later falling to the Koreans Wook Jin Jeon and Dae Young Kim 21-15, 18-21, 23-25 in the most fascinating finale of the day.




Bethell back from injury



England’s Daniel Bethell, one of the European hopes for Paralympic gold in Tokyo 2020, suffered a fractured metatarsal (broken foot) in June 2017. Two recurrences of the same injury has seen him side-lined for many month since then. The latest absence being 6 months as his last tournament was Dubai in April earlier this year, and he and his Team GB professionals have dedicated serious efforts to getting him back to full strength.


“It feels great to be back! It has been a very long 6 months recovering from injury. My team and I have put in a lot of hard work in physiotherapy, in the strength and conditioning gym, and both on and off court. I am not so worried about the foot anymore, we’ve taken extra time to ensure it has healed properly and I’m feeling stronger now than ever before.


I’d like to think I’m ready to make it to another international final and even win the tournament this week, training has been going really well and I feel fit and strong.


I’m hoping to continue to build on this and get back onto a doubles court as well, building up to the European Championships in November and defend my singles title for the 3rd time and also become European Champ in men’s doubles too with Griff.  Next year, qualifying for the Paralympics will be a very exciting year!”




For a full list of the Japan Para-Badminton International draws and results this week click here

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