David Toupe's exhausted smile today in Tokyo (photo credit : Bobby Griffin)
Tremendous Toupe in tough draw
Date: 9/27/2018 3:31 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Day Two at the Machida City Gymnasium saw Frenchman David Toupe battle hard to win WH1 Group D and secure a place in the Quarter Finals

Before describing Toupe’s triumph today in Tokyo to take top spot in the group, I need to put into context the significance of doing so and why this achievement warrants the praise.

In all other categories here at the Japan International, a number of the top ranked players are absent, primarily due to the Asian Games which commences next week (see Tuesday article : High Hopes for Europe with low Asian entries in Japan). All except the men’s singles WH1, which features the world number 1, World Champion Lee Sam Seop (KOR). The world number 3, European Champion Thomas Wandschneider (GER) and the only man to beat Sam Seop in the past 6 months, Jeong Jae Gun (KOR).

Toupe knows only too well how winning the group is crucial to maintain a seeded place in the knockout rounds and avoid another top seed on the way to a potential semi-final.

“..there was a bit of pressure because I needed to win the group! After Thailand, where I came second in the group stage after one bad result and lost my place in the draw, I had to face one of the top players in the last 16 and failed to reach the quarter finals. That cost me a bronze medal at least, and a possible final.”

Read : Antonsen looking back to his best in great win

After a comfortable win yesterday, and again this morning, Toupe had to face Japan’s Tsutomu Shimada this afternoon in his final group match. In typical Toupe style, the match ended 21-19, 23-25, 21-19 and was nail biting from start to finish. The longest match of the day, closing in on one hour in length.

“Mentally and physically it was tough, but I was strong. I was 18-11 down in the first and came back to win. I like a long match, I’m used to playing 3 sets. Perhaps I need to learn how to put the shuttle on the floor sooner!  

It will come down to luck now, whether I am able to avoid one of those Koreans in the quarter finals. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

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

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