Two weeks passed and the hype of the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015 is still going on. Para-athletes who were in Stoke Mandeville are still posting pictures from Stoke Mandeville on social medias, medalists were being interviewed and celebrated in their respective countries and plenty of new friendships were made in the para-badminton community. All these could not have been possible without the successful organization of the World Championships by Badminton England.
´Congratulations to Badminton England by pulling off another great event that I am sure was fully enjoyed by what I see as a big para-badminton family. It was really a great event where we could see all para-athletes doing their best to win during the Para-Badminton World Championships in Stoke Mandeville´ stated Joăo Matos, Chair of BEC Para-Badminton Commission who was also present at the 10th edition of the Para-Badminton World Championships.
The European contingent did well in general but the highlights of this year´s World Championships are the increase of participating and medalling countries in Stoke Mandeville as compared to the 2013 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Dortmund, Germany.
Italy, Ukraine and Wales made their maiden appearance in the World Championships this year and the Netherlands and Scotland won their very first World Championships medals. Megan Hollander (NED) from SU5 went home with a Women´s Singles bronze medal while Robert Laing (SCO) from SS6 won the bronze medal in Men´s Doubles partnering Andrew Moorcoft (IRL).
Joăo added, ´European para-athletes did well on medals count but had to overcome an increased level of play from the Asian players. Our continent has to continue to work hard and increase the number of para-badminton players and even more important, the level of play. We all have to do our part to continue this journey looking into a great participation on our first appearance of para-badminton in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.´
In regards to Joăo´s statement above, it is crucial that the Member Associations, players and coaches work hand in hand to improve and strive towards the historical maiden appearance of para-badminton in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Stay tuned for the next article where we have some insights from the national para-badminton coaches and players who were in Stoke Mandeville, England.
To view the European players who took part in Stoke Mandeville, click here
To view the BEC para-badminton page, click here