Day 1 of the 2016 European Para-Badminton Championships organised by Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Dutch Badminton Federation kicked off today in the city of Beek in the district of Limburg in the South-East corner of The Netherlands.
As with all para-badminton competitions there was a healthy mixture of competition coupled with a comradery and togetherness that is sometimes missing across other sports. The Sport Hall De Haamen, with two halls, one for standing events and one for wheelchair events, is ideally suited as the competitions kicked off with a series of round robin group matches with few surprises on the opening day.
All the favourites across all categories eased through their first series of matches and the spirit of the tournament was encapsulated by the picture above as women’s wheelchair doubles second seeds Karin Suter-Erath (SUI) and Emine Seckin (TUR) who beat Kristel Gevaert (BEL) and Pamela Masse (FRA) dropped just 6 points across the two games but still found time for a friendly chat and photo at the end of the match.
One of the closest matches of the day came in the men’s doubles wheelchair event as Spanish pair Roberto Galdos and Jose Guillermo Lama SECO (pictured below) took almost an hour and three games to see of the challenge of Sebastien Martin (FRA) and Juhani Pippuri (FIN)
After losing the second games 22-20 the Spanish settled their nerves to lead from start to finish in the deciding set winning 21-16.
In one of the most hotly contested matches of the day top seeds in women’s singles SU5, Julie Thrane of Denmark was forced to battle hard against Dutch number 1 Megan Hollander. The Dane came through in two games but not without a struggle 21-17 21-18.
The action continues tomorrow with the second phase of the round robin matches with all the action kicking off at 9am.
For a full list of results and order of play for tomorrow click HERE
For a photo gallery from today’s play click HERE