England, Korea, Malaysia and Scotland had plenty to celebrate at the recent England Para-Badminton International at the Sir David Wallace Sports Hall at Loughborough University.
Daniel Bethell made up for his doubles defeat with Bobby Griffin in the first final by taking revenge over Malaysia’s Teak Han Liew in the SL3 Men’s Singles final with a crushing 21-4 21-8 win. Teak and Bakri Omar had won Men’s Doubles by beating Bethell and Bobby Griffin, 21-14 21-18.
Malaysia scooped two more titles through Omar in the SL4 Men’s Singles with a 21-9 21-12 victory over team-mate Hairol Fozi Saaba 21-9 21-12 before top seed Liek Hou Cheah gave Malaysia another title in the SU5 Men’s Singles by beating France’s Colin Kerouanton 21-11 21-9.
Liek also collected gold with Saaba in the SU5 doubles as the No.2 seeds beat top seeds Bartlomiej Mroz of Poland and Wei Ming Tay of Singapore (above) 21-13 21-18. That meant Malaysia topped the finals day gold rush with four.
Not to be outdone Scotland’s Fiona Christie picked up her second gold, following up her WH2 Women’s Singles triumph by partnering Thailand’s Pookkhum Sujirat to success over England’s Fiona Kelly and Swiss star Karin Suter-Erath in the combined WH1 & 2 Women’s Doubles, 21-11 21-14. Sujirat also made it a golden double by beating Suter-Erath in the singles final 21-12 21-18.
England added to Bethell’s gold with Martin Rooke and Suter-Erath teaming up to beat Thailand pair Sujirat and Jakarin Homhaul (21-14 21-14) and there was another gold for the host nation when Krysten Coombs (left), the second seed, defeated team-mate and top seed Andrew Martin 21-14 24-22 in SS6 Men’s Singles.
Korea won wheelchair Men’s Doubles gold when Kim Jungjun and and Lee Sam Seop defeated the Hong Kong and Thai pairing of Ho Yuen Chan and Homhaul 21-15 21-8. Korea rounded off the day’s programme by winning the last two finals, Lee leaving Homhaul to collect a third silver after the Korean top seed’s 21-16 21-8 win in the WH1 final.
Kim collected his second gold when the second seed toppled the top seed and team-mate Kim Kyung Hoon 21-17 14-21 21-19 in a gripping WH2 final.
One other gold was decided earlier when Israel’s Nina Gorodetzky and Russia’s Liliia Prokofeva (below) denied England pair Sharon Jones-Barnes (featured image) and Paula Robinson 21-15 18-21 21-16 in another keenly fought contest in the combined WH1 & WH2 Women’s Doubles class.
The next big test for many of these competitors is the European Championships in the Spanish city of Murcia in September followed by the Asian Para-Games in Incheon, Korea, in October.
Final-day gold haul: 4 Malaysia, England, 3 Korea, 2 Thailand, 1 Switzerland, Scotland, Israel, Russia.
Silver medals: 5 England, 3 Thailand, 2 Switzerland, 1 Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Korea.
For all the final results, click here.
PARA-BADMINTON SPORT CLASSES
WH = wheelchair
SL = standing lower
SU = standing upper
SS = short stature
THE GLORY OF PARA-BADMINTON
Bobby Griffin – England
Pookkhum Sujirat – Thailand
Kim Jungjun – Korea
Thongchai Koanboonasri – Thailand
Avraham Oren – Israel