The 2016 European Para-Badminton championships concluded today in Beek, The Netherlands with a total of 21 events spread across two halls to decide the new Continental champions. Karin Suter-Erath (SUI) and Lucas Mazur (FRA) won three titles each while team England dominated the short stature categories.
Karin Suter-Erath (main picture) of Switzerland was crowned European champion in the women’s singles wheelchair 1 category but was forced to dig deep to retain the title.
The Swiss top seed dropped the middle set of the final, her first of the week, before composing herself against Germany’s Valeska Knoblauch to win the title. Suter-Erath then teamed up with Emine Seckin of Turkey to claim the women’s doubles title consigning Knoblauch to yet another silver medal.
Not to be outdone, French shuttler Lucas Mazur also rowed in with a hat trick of victories winning the MS SL4, the men’s doubles and mixed titles in a good day for French para-badminton.
England’s Martin Rooke was as hot a favourite as you could get this week in Beek and stormed to the men’s singles wheelchair 2 category blowing away any chance of a local gold. Rooke beat Jordy Brouwer Von Gonzenbach in two games and then added the mixed doubles wheelchair event for good measure.
Germany’s Thomas Wandschneider was probably the hardest working athlete on finals day. The German was taking to three games in both his finals with the men’s singles wheelchair one match going to 75 minutes.
The German lifted that title beating David Toupe of France before taking three sets to win the men’s doubles title in the very final match of the day alongside England’s Connor Dua-Harper.
Coomb’s leads by example as England blitz the short stature categories
Krysten Coomb’s became one of the stars of the tournament today winning both the men’s singles short stature 6 category before adding the men’s doubles title to his collection alongside Jack Shepard.
Coomb’s (pictured above) took down long-time friend but on court foe, Niall McVeigh in the singles after the Irishman pushed his English opponent hard in the opening game. McVeigh squandered a total of 3 game points to let Coombs off the hook and the Englishman seized the momentum and romped up with an easy second set win.
In the men’s doubles Coomb’s inflicted a second defeat onto McVeigh winning again in two games with partner Jack Shepard. The future is looking bright for England across all short category events!
Rachel Choong also took the women’s singles title beating compatriot Rebecca Bedford in the final and Choong partnered Andrew Martin to the mixed title. Choong also won the women’s doubles alongside Bedford but as the event was just an exhibition this time around no medals were awarded so technically does not count as a hat-trick.
Tuzcu beats Mroz to lift MS SU5 title
Polands Bart Mroz has become a household name in Para-Badminton and one of the main focus of any European attack against Asia. Turkey’s Ilker Tuzcu announced his arrival on the big stage today beating the top seed in seemingly easy fashion to send the Turkish team and supports wild in the standing hall.
Mroz had no answers to the Turks attack and the Pole looked frustrated for much of the match as he was out powered by the Turk.
Both Mroz and Tuzcu teamed up to take the men’s doubles title which is probably of slight consolation to the Pole but he will be back to fight another day.
German’s Katrin Seibert walked away with the women’s singles SL4 category while Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren rounded off a great week for her on her debut winning the WS SU5 category beating team mate Astrid Lilhav Riis in two games.
To view all results from finals day in Beek click HERE
To view a photo gallery of action and podium shots from today’s play click HERE
Article and Images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe