Mai Jianpeng and Qu Zimo at the 2018 Asian Para Games (credit: The Jakarta Post)
China set the standard for the World in Turkey
Date: 3/31/2019 12:16 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

The Chinese arrive on the scene and take 7 gold medals out of a possible 20 events at the Turkish Para-Badminton International.

Paralympic ranking points are the reason for the Chinese to fully assert themselves in para-badminton. Where China have arguably been the dominant force in able bodied Badminton over the past 30 years, para-badminton has not seen the real strength of the Asian nation until now.

To put the story of their achievements this week into context, just two Chinese players/pairs were involved from semi-final stages of the 2015 para-badminton world championships in England. 

This week, the first para-badminton international of 2019 and crucially the first where ranking points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are concerned, we have seen an incredible 23 semi-finalists from China across the 20 events. 14 of these made it to the finals, and 7 winners.

This shows a significant shift in power, not only within Asia but a fact that concerns the rest of the world and makes the hunt for gold even more desperate for Europe.

READ: Axelsen in India Open final

Rosengren’s attempt to make 4 golds in a row

Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren clung on to Yang Qiuxia in the first game of the SU5 women’s singles final this morning in Antalya. An intriguing and clever battle between the two ladies, Rosengren managed to snatch the first 23-21 and there were whispers of whether she may be able to able to beat the impressive Chinese.

The second and third games however showed that Yang could run all day long and Rosengren was left looking for answers as the world championships silver medallist took control of the rallies and crushed the Dane’s hopes 21-8, 21-9.

Mazur suffers first defeat in 2 years

Lucas Mazur, the SL4 from France has more ranking points than any other singles in para-badminton. His reign at the top has been so emphatic it takes a search back to USA 2017 to find a tournament where Mazur didn’t take home the gold.

Yet nobody at the top of elite sport can win everything and today the Turkish International title goes to India’s Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj, a player that has not travelled extensively. In fact the only time we have seen Suhas in an International open event was this same event last year where a repeat of this final saw the man who trains at the national center in Paris beat the Indian in straight games.

Today Mazur looked cagey. Defensive in style, attempting to run the world number 23, yet unforced errors and a failure to maintain a good length meant the scoreline ran away from him and the match ended 21-16, 22-20.

Szmigiel finds precious gold in Turkey

European highlight performance of the day must go to Oliwia Szmigiel. Capitalising on the absence of the world’s top ranked SS6 females, Szmigiel takes home two gold medals in the SS6 women’s singles and mixed doubles with her partner Vitor Goncalves Tavares (BRA).

Their opponents in the mixed final were Nagar Krishna (IND) and Szmigiel’s teammate Maria Bartisz (POL) who ran them to a close 19-21, 24-22, 21-16 result.

Russia’s Irina Borisova also forced Szmigiel to a third game decider in the SS6 women’s singles final, although she managed to cling on to a 20-22, 21-12, 21-16 win.

Tomorrow’s para-badminton news will feature a preview to the 2nd Fazza - Dubai Para-Badminton International which begins on Tuesday next week.

For the full list of the day’s results, see tournament software here with this link.

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