“My historic win means that now the level of Para badminton has risen. No one can be sure of a win, and everyone has an equal chance now.”
Hong Kong’s Chan Ho Yuen caused the upset of the year – and perhaps the biggest shock of the last six years – when he stunned South Korea’s Kim Jungjun at the Australia Para Badminton International in Geelong.
Chan masterminded Kim’s first defeat in the men’s singles WH 2, 21-14 18-21 21-13. Kim had won all his singles matches in international Para badminton since his debut in 2012. This year, he won the Spanish and Thailand Internationals, before beating Chan for a third time at their most recent meeting at October’s Asian Para Games.
“It’s a good ending for 2018 and a good sign for next year as the Tokyo 2020 (Paralympics) qualification will start,” Chan said. “My historic win means that now the level of Para badminton has risen. No one can be sure of a win, and everyone has an equal chance now.”
Kim did find solace in the mixed doubles WH 1 – WH 2, winning the event alongside Kim Seung Suk. Kim Jungjun also took the men’s doubles, in which he and Choi Jung Man got the better of Israel’s Amir Levi and France’s David Toupe.
Choi made it double gold, as he triumphed in the men’s singles WH 1.
The competition wrapped on Sunday (25 November) and was the last major international event of 2018 that drew many of the sport’s top names.
Indonesia’s Dwiyoko Dwiyoko, Leani Ratri Oktila and Fredy Setiawan all came away with a pair of gold medals.
Oktila was the closest to a trio of titles, as the 2017 world champion silver medallist lost to Japan’s Ayako Suzuki in the women’s singles SL 4 - SU 5. But earlier Sunday, she won the women’s doubles SL 3 – SU 5 with Khalimatus Sadiyah Sukohandoko; and the mixed doubles SL 3 – SU 5 with Dwiyoko.
India’s 2017 world bronze medallist Pramod Bhagat won the men’s singles SL 3 over Indonesia’s Ukun Rukaendi. Bhagat and Sukant Kadam however fell in the final of the men’s doubles SL 3 – SL 4 to Dwiyoko and Setiawan in a tightly fought match: 25-23 22-24 22-20.
Indonesia’s Suryo Nugroho captured the men’s singles SU 5 title over Japan’s Taiyo Imai; while India’s Manasi Girishchandra Joshi was triumphant in women’s singles SL 3, beating Japan’s Noriko Ito 21-13 21-12.
Complete results from the Australia Para Badminton International can be found on Badminton World Federation’s website http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draws.aspx?id=59463FFA-1FBD-428F-B25D-0E64F8C3A258