Qu Zimao and Mai Jianpeng in Basel last month (credit Badminton Photo)
Concentrated efforts in Hangzhou
Date: 9/22/2019 1:44 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin

This weekend 147 players arrived in Hangzhou, China, in preparations for the second Para badminton international hosted in the sport’s most successful country.

May 2015 was the first and last time China hosted a full scale international event for the world’s Para badminton community. The Paralympic centre outside of Beijing held 75 players that week, it was impressively ran despite the language barriers and catering, yet the facilities were among the best we have seen in our sport.

Nearly double that number will feature this week in Hangzhou, and yet those are small compared to most internationals. 245 athletes competed in Thailand last week for instance. 

The reasons why the entry numbers are low this time include: 

China is yet to prove itself as a capable host, taking into consideration that it has only hosted one such competition on a relatively small scale and that was over four years ago. 

A busy schedule is another reason. Alot of athletes were in Bangkok last week, which was only four weeks after the World Championships and just another three weeks away from the tournament in Denmark and Japan the following month. 

So this is where funding, training blocks and rest all come into play. Lastly, some of the players have struggled to get the correct visa to enter the country. 

Read: Marin’s sensational comeback continues

European hopefuls

The lack of numbers does improve chances for those Europeans who have continued the tour of Asia. Some of the hopefuls this week include:

Jack Shephard – England’s SS6 men’s singles World Champion will be looking to further the distance in the rankings between him and the absent Nagar Krishna from India who won in Thailand last week.

Thomas Wandschneider – the German number one seed will have a very tough job ahead of him with China’s world champion Qu Zimao to beat.

Lucas Mazur – from France will be looking to continue his dominance of SL4 men’s singles, aiming for three on the bounce after a Thailand win last week and gold in the World Championships last month. He and Faustine Noel will also be looking for SL3-SU5 mixed doubles success.

Martin Rooke – with the absence of the Korean team, number two seed Rooke from England will have to get past Hong Kong’s Chan Ho Yuen who took the Thailand title last week, as well as strong opposition from China and Japan.

Valeska Knoblauch – unable to beat world number one Sarina Satomi (JPN) in Thailand, Germany’s Knoblauch is right behind her in the rankings and has her sights firmly set on Tokyo next summer.

Cathrine Rosengren – Denmark’s golden girl will be looking to upset Japan’s Ayako Suzuki and China’s Yang Qiuxia who seem unstoppable at the moment.

Follow the China Para-Badminton International 2019 on tournament software here

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