Basel 2019: Pramod Bhagat makes comeback

India’s world No. 1 survives first game to advance at World Championships 23 Aug 2019
Indian badminton player lunches for a shot
Pramod Bhagat survived his first match at Basel 2019
By Amp Media | For the IPC

India’s star shuttler Pramod Bhagat admitted feeling rusty as he finally made his debut in the men’s singles SL 3 event at the Basel 2019 Para Badminton World Championships in Switzerland on Thursday. 

The No.1 seed was behind from the beginning against Mongkhon Bunsun and would have lost the first game had the Thai player buried a routine smash instead of swiping at thin air on game point.

Bhagat eventually recovered his composure to win 26-24, 21-17.

“It was a little bit difficult as my first match was a walkover and so it was the first time I had entered onto the court,” said Bhagat, who has won four of his five international events so far this year.

“I tried to observe his weaknesses and work out how to play him (and) when I understood this, I could change my game to win. But it was not a comfortable match and I am not satisfied.” 

If anyone knows how to beat Bhagat, it is England’s Daniel Bethell, who denied the world No.1 the Canada Para Badminton International title in May.

“He’s certainly not unbeatable,” Bethell said after cruising past Mustafa Tugra Nur of Turkey on Thursday (21-4, 21-4). 

“I managed to beat him earlier this year although he’s obviously a fantastic player and is not number one in the world for no reason. I’ll hopefully be able to meet him in the final on Sunday.”


Moving along

In the men’s singles SL 4, top seed Lucas Mazur of France improved on his opening pool match performance to beat Thailand’s Chawarat Kitichokwattana, 21-16, 21-13. 

Elsewhere on Thursday, Denmark’s sole entrant in the competition, women’s singles SU 5 shuttler Cathrine Rosengren, was grateful for her light schedule as she brushed aside Japan’s Kaede Kameyama in straight games (21-9, 21-10).

Germany's Valeska Knoblauch


“I’m happy that I’m only playing singles,” she said. “I’m used to playing a lot of matches with my club at home, but I think it’s OK to save some energy in the first few days and then I’ll feel fresher when it gets really tough.” 

Rosengren is already eyeing a possible final against Japan’s Ayako Suzuki, who excelled in her match against Jyoti Jangra of India (21-6, 21-3).

“I really want to beat her this time,” the Dane said. “I haven’t won against her yet so I hope this time will be my turn to win.”
In the wheelchair hall, Germany’s women’s singles WH 1 favourite Valeska Knoblauch beat Russia’s Nataliia Prokofeva 21-8, 21-9 and is still to concede double figures in any of her games. 

“Maybe on paper I am the player to beat,” Knoblauch said. 

Hong Kong's Chan Ho Yuen


In the men’s singles WH 1 event, Kim Jung Jun of South Korea and Chan Ho Yuen of Hong Kong China both eased into the knockout stages on Thursday. 

The closest match of day three was in the men’s singles SL 4, when China’s Gao Yuyang edged out Rickard Nilsson of Sweden, 19-21, 22-20, 22-20. 

The Basel 2019 Para Badminton World Championships continues until Sunday and more information is available on the BWF’s website.