Valeska Knoblauch competing in Thailand (credit Badminton Photo)
Europe’s female medal contenders
Date: 8/31/2021 4:46 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Para badminton players are set to make history tomorrow as the first participants in their sport at the Paralympics. Here we take a look at the top females in contention for a medal

Cathrine Rosengren – SU5 women’s singles

Denmark’s Rosengren exploded onto the scene at her first event in 2016 with a win at the European Championships. Clear favourite for a medal here in Tokyo, the question really is which colour?

The third seed for The Games took, Rosengren her only title in the Race to Tokyo qualifying race in Spain earlier this year, whilst the world’s top two were absent. Her biggest rivals are China’s World Champion Yang Qiuxia who will be slightly favoured over Japan’s Ayako Suzuki to take gold.

Valeska Knoblauch – WH1 women’s singles and WH1-2 doubles

The German has climbed the rankings since her European title in 2018 and is currently third in the world, marginally ahead of European rival Karin Suter-Erath (SUI). 

WH1 women’s singles is the most widely contested of the Para badminton events showcased in Tokyo, with seven of the world’s top ten players recording international victories in the current rankings. Knoblauch and Suter-Erath will be hard pushed by Satomi (JPN), Pookkham (THA), Zhang (CHN) and Yin (CHN).

Read: Thomas Jakobs: "Sport gave me courage"

Helle Sofie Sagoey – SL4 women’s singles

The invitations went out a long time ago for the SL4 women’s singles Paralympic Final and they had just two names on: Cheng Hefeng (CHN) and Leani Ratri Oktila (INA). These two women have not missed a final as far as records go back and have only ever lost to each other.

Assuming both are healthy, the rest of the world will be battling for the bronze medal and Norwegian Helle Sagoey is very much in contention. Third in the rankings, Sagoey will have a tough battle with Haruka Fujino (JPN), Khalimatus Sadiyah (INA) and Ma Hui Hui (CHN) for the semi-finals.

Faustine Noel – SL4 women’s singles, SL3-SU5 women’s and mixed doubles

With women’s singles so hotly contested, Noel’s best chance at gold next week in Tokyo is with Lucas Mazur in the mixed doubles, if they can overcome Indonesian World Champions Oktila and partner Hary Susanto who are favourites for the event.

She partners Lenaig Morin in the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles, the pair took gold in Spain earlier this year to help secure a spot at the Paralympics with the absence of the world’s best. In Tokyo however they will need something special to beat Indonesia, China and Japan to a medal.

The Paralympic badminton schedule begins at 1100 (CEST time zone) Wednesday 01 September with SL3-SU5 mixed doubles and WH1 women’s singles. For a full list of matches, click here

We will feature the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic badminton event here and across our usual platforms over the next two weeks, look out for more in days to come

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