Helle Sagoey delights in making it to the semifinals (credit Alan Spink ParabadmintonPhoto)
European wheels punctured in Japan
Date: 9/3/2021 3:57 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

What an afternoon it was in the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, here’s the best of the European action as the day unfolded

Helle Sagoey progressed to the SL4 women’s singles semi-finals with her performances in Group D. The Norwegian hasn’t yet dropped a game this week but faces an uphill battle against China’s Cheng Hefeng, the second seed, tomorrow for a place in the final.

Women’s doubles action sees Faustine Noel and Lenaig Morin (FRA) into tomorrow’s semifinals against in form Indonesians Leani Oktila and Khalimatus Sadiyah. Noel is on court again in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles with Lucas Mazur as they hope for a place in the final if they can overcome Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino.

Mazur also makes it two, booking his place into the SL4 men’s singles semis against old foe Dhillon Tarun (IND). This match guarantees fireworks with no love lost between these two men. 

How to follow the #EU17C21

Wheels falling off for Europe

Emine Seckin grabs the wheelchair limelight today after defeating the world number five Amnouy Wetwithan (THA) in straight games in the WH2 women’s singles quarterfinals. The Turk has beaten Wetwithan just once in many years of competition before today, saving her best for the big stage to set up a semifinal against world number one Liu Yutong tomorrow.

The two European Continental Championship finalists in WH1 women’s singles, Valeska Knoblauch (GER) and Karin Suter-Erath (SUI) both crashed out at the quarterfinal stage this afternoon as strong Chinese and Japanese opposition were too much for the Europeans

Martin Rooke, the only European male in a wheelchair quarterfinal was picked apart by Hong Kong’s Chan Ho Yuen in the WH2 men’s singles, the number two seed, who now faces his biggest rival Kim Jung Jun (KOR) in the semi-finals.

Read: Japan dismiss Rosengren in SU5

Shephard out but Coombs into the semis

England’s top seed Jack Shephard appeared to be unphased by the task ahead of him this morning, despite a straight game’s loss yesterday to teammate Krysten Coombs in the SH6 men’s singles group, who then suffered the same to Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai.

Shephard had to beat Chu in straight games and allow him to get no more than 21 points in total for the match today, for the Team GB man to go through the group and into a semifinal on a points-difference. 

He set himself up in the first game with a 21-11 result and it looked as if he could realise the impossible. The dream was short-lived however, Chu was battling, and the set was close. He had four game points and finally took it 24-22, so now Shephard was playing for pride.

Shephard gathered all his experience and training and dominated the third, taking the final set 21-10 – what he would give to have had that score in the second!  Chu through, with Coombs taking second place on games-won, as we now wait for details of who Coombs faces in the SH6 men’s singles semi-final.

After the match he said

- I'm disappointed I've not gone through, but I'm pleased at how I turned things around because that's what I'm going to need in the future, for Paris 2024. From what I've learnt here, I'm going to be even better next time.

The Paralympic badminton schedule can be found here, with livestreams of one wheelchair and one standing court.

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

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