The knockout phase of the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015 took shape yesterday at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in England, with many quarter-final match-ups being finalised after two days of round-robin competition.
Across the six sport classes, various top players and pairs advanced to the last eight – and though some quarter-final berths are yet to be settled – the remaining two days of the tournament look set to be action-packed with great battles in store.
In Men’s Singles SU 5, well-known personalities like Bartlomiej Mroz of Poland, Tay Wei Ming of Singapore, Turkey’s Ilker Tuzcu and top seed and defending champion, Cheah Liek Hou of Malaysia, have all reached the last eight. In the Women’s Singles equivalent event, Mamiko Toyoda of Japan (below) and Brazilian Cintya Oliveira are already in the semi-finals. Toyoda will face either Zahra Baglar (Turkey) or Megan Hollander of the Netherlands while Oliveira clashes with England’s Abbigale Richards or Julie Thrane of Denmark.
In Men’s Doubles WH 1-WH 2, David Toupe of France and Germany’s Thomas Wandschneider, came through the qroup stage and will be hunting a second successive gold medal as they embark on the round of 16 today. Others seeking medals in this category include England’s Connor Dua-Harper/David Follett; Marcelo Alves Conceicao/Romulo Junio Soares (Brazil); Prem Kumar Ale (India)/Marc Deherder (Belgium); Kim Jung Jun/Lee Dong Seop (Korea) and Russia’s Pavel Popov/Yuri Stepanov.
The combined Women’s Doubles WH 1-WH 2 quarter-finals will feature some of the top women’s wheelchair players, including Swiss top seeds Sonja Haesler and Karin Suter-Erath; Korea’s triple gold medallist from the last World Championships, Lee Sun Ae and her partner Son Ok Cha; and three Japanese pairs.
The Women’s Singles wheelchair events are also gearing up to be great contests. The WH 1 class boasts the likes of Haesler, Suter-Erath, Valeska Knoblauch (Germany) and Thailand’s Sujirat Pookkhum in the quarter-finals. China’s Wang Ping will play her round of 16 match today and, should she win, would tackle Pookkhum for a semi-final spot where she could come up against Suter-Erath. Meanwhile in WH 2, top seed Emine Seckin of Turkey (featured image) and defending World champion, Korea’s Lee Sun Ae (seeded No.2) lead the quarter-finalists. Both have the unfortunate task of knocking out one of their compatriots respectively if they are to progress to the semi-finals.
Leonardo Zuffo of Brazil
Host nation, England, has a strong array of talent in the SS 6 class, with Krysten Coombs, Andrew Martin and Jack Shephard all eyeing places in the Men’s Singles semi-finals. One of the day’s most entertaining fixtures could be Coombs versus top seed, Niall McVeigh of Ireland while Martin takes on Robert Laing of Scotland.
Not to be outdone, Rachel Choong and Rebecca Bedford – the top seeds in Women’s Singles SS 6 respectively – will be keen to make it an all-England finale as they take on their semi-final rivals today.
Matches will also continue in the SL 3 and SL 4 classes as the tenth edition of the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships build to a crescendo on tomorrow’s closing day, with 223 players from 37 countries participating. This is the sixth time on which this tournament is being held in Europe with the previous occasions being: in the Netherlands (1998), Germany (2000), Spain (2001), Wales (2003) and Germany (2013).
See link for tournament website including match schedule, results and live scoring: BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015.