Para badminton World Champs underway in Ulsan

Returning world champions looking for back-to-back titles in South Korea 22 Nov 2017
a para badminton player in a wheelchair goes for a shot

Jung Jun Kim is hoping home advantage can take him to double gold at the Para Badminton World Championships.

ⒸEJ Monica Kim

The 11th edition of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Para Badminton World Championships 2017 is underway in Ulsan, South Korea, where more than 270 athletes from 41 countries will contend over 22 medal events.

Competition began on Wednesday (22 November), with many returning world champions from the 2015 edition held in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain.

Among those looking for back-to-back world titles are home favourites Sam Seop Lee in the men’s single WH 1 and Jungjun Kim in the men’s single WH2. The men’s single WH2 will be an interesting match-up, as the final could feature an all-South Korean showdown like two years ago, when Jungjun Kim defeated compatriot Kyung Hoon Kim.

There might also be an all-South Korean final in the men’s double WH 1-2. No. 1 seed Jungjun Kim and Sam Seop Lee will pair up, while the No. 2 seed features Kyung Hoon Kim and Dong Seop Lee.

Norwegian Helle Sofie Sagoy will aim to defend her title in the women’s single SL 4. Germany’s Katrin Seibert occupies the top seed, but both can face tough competitions from their Asian counterpart China’s Hefang Cheng.

Great Britain’s Rachel Choong had a memorable performance when she won gold on home court. Choong now returns as the top seed in the women’s single SS 6. She will team up Rebecca Bedford in the women’s doubles SS 6, where they hope to take home another world title.

India will also look to stack up the medals table, led by reigning men’s single SL 4 world champion Tarun Tarun. However France’s second seed Lucas Mazur will hope to make up for his disappointment from 2015.

The BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2017 runs until Sunday (26 November) and will be an important step for many athletes ahead of Tokyo 2020, where the sport will make its Paralympic debut. More information can be found on BWF’s website.