Knoblauch at the World Championships last month (credit Action Photography)
Knoblauch still in the hunt
Date: 9/14/2019 1:15 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

As the Para badminton World Championships begin to disappear around the bend, athletes focus in on this month’s double-header on the Road to Tokyo. 

International competitions in Thailand this week and then straight onto China next week means the pressure is building ahead of next year’s Paralympics. We caught up with one of the top European hopefuls to discuss current progress.

Valeska Knoblauch left the World Championships in Basel without a WH1 women’s singles medal. Undone in the quarterfinals by unseeded China’s Yin Menglu who had only played two tournaments in the last 24 months.

- I knew the match would be difficult. I was disappointed about my performance, especially in the second game of that quarterfinal, but she played well and the results were fair. I just focus on the next competition and concentrate on the positives, the German told us.

Read: Third 2019 title for Pugh and Lane

Knoblauch drops to world number two as Switzerland’s Karin Suter-Erath picked up a bronze medal and jumps back up to third. There is a real strength in depth across the wheelchair class, with four Internationals over the next two months, this might be the make or break of Paralympic dreams. 

- Sarina (Satomi) is the number one in singles now and I am confident she will qualify for the Paralympics via the women’s doubles rankings. As long as there is nobody in front of me who must qualify through the singles rankings, like I may need to, I can stay relaxed. She played well at the World Championships, and deserves to be at the top, Knoblauch explained.

Asked how Valeska Knoblauch feels about this fortnight trip around Asia, she said:

- I feel good. I feel prepared for this back-to-back trip in Asia. I’m looking forward for Thailand, though I don’t think the Chinese team are here this week so that will make a difference! The China International the following week will be exciting, I’ve never been to the country and there may be some new players too. The standard could be strong and that will be a great experience.

The day Thailand Para-Badminton International 2019 draws and results can be found on tournament software here

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