Karin Suter-Erath’s dominance of wheelchair para-badminton continued into the first international event of 2015 as the Swiss competitor captured three golds in Spain last weekend.
The WH2 athlete and No.1 seed snatched top honours in WH2 Women’s Singles, WH1/WH2 Women’s Doubles and WH1/WH2 Mixed Doubles at the V Spanish Para-Badminton International 2015 held 27-29 March in Alcudia.
In the singles final she beat No.2 seed Valeska Knoblauch of Germany 21-7 21-9 in 25 minutes while teaming up with Russia’s Liliia Prokofeva – whom she defeated in the singles semi-finals – to win Women’s Doubles following a round-robin competition. Knoblauch and her compatriot Elke Rongen took silver.
For her third gold, Suter-Erath was partnered by England’s Martin Rooke as they outgunned rivals in the WH1/WH2 Mixed Doubles category. Again it was Knoblauch who was on the losing end as she and Young-Chin Mi, also of Germany, fell 21-12 21-12.
A number of other well-known personalities within the para-badminton community also registered impressive results with Krysten Coombs of England; Germany’s Thomas Wandschneider; and Malaysian duo, Bakri Omar and Cheah Liek Hou, all taking home two gold medals each. India’s Manoj Sarkar won a gold and two silvers.
Coombs (above) followed up his 15-21 21-9 21-19 victory in SS6 Men’s Singles (beating top seed and England team-mate, Andrew Martin) with success in SS6 Men’s Doubles. He and compatriot Jack Shephard won all three matches in round-robin battle without dropping a game to finish ahead of Martin and Isaak Dalglish, who won two of their three fixtures. Meanwhile, Wandschneider wrested titles in WH1 Men’s Singles and WH1/WH2 Men’s Doubles. Ironically, the top seed ousted his doubles partner, David Toupe of France, to win the singles (21-9 21-13). In doubles, the German-French pair (below) got past English rivals, Rooke and Connor Dua-Harper, 22-20 21-12, to lift the title.
Asia and in particular Malaysia was well represented by Bakri Omar and Cheah Liek Hou. The latter showed his class in SU5 Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles, winning gold in both. In the singles final, he overcame Colin Kerouanton of France, 21-17 21-6, and joined up with fellow Malaysian, Hairol Fozi Saaba, to triumph versus James Binnie (England)/Mark Modderman (Netherlands), 21-14 21-14, in the doubles showdown.
Not to be outdone, Omar wrested gold in SL4 Men’s Singles and SL3/SL4 Men’s Doubles with Malaysian team-mate, Muhammad Huzairi Abdul Malek. France’s Lucas Mazur lost the singles finale to top-seeded Omar, 21-16 21-14. The Omar-Malek duo (below) outlasted their opposition for the combined-classes title, prevailing 9-21 21-15 21-11, against India’s Anand Kumar Boregowda and Manoj Sarkar.
Sarkar also copped a second silver in SL3/SL4/SU5 Mixed Doubles with Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar while celebrating gold in SL3 Men’s Singles. The No.2 seed in the latter event, Sarkar got the better of top seed, Daniel Bethell – 21-11 8-21 25-23 for the gold medal. Parmar lost the SU5 Women’s Singles gold to Denmark’s Julie Thrane (below), 21-9 21-13.
For the full list of results, click here.
Text by Gayle Alleyne | Alan Spink