Dubai Para: All Eyes On Kajiwara

Dubai Para: All Eyes On Kajiwara
Kajiwara gears up for the big leagues.

In a rematch of the recent Bahrain final, Daiki Kajiwara again came out tops against Yu Sooyoung in the Wheelchair (WH2) men’s singles at the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022.

Kajiwara conceded a tight first game 23-21 but took the second 21-10 rather quickly. The third proved a bit of a challenge as he faced longer rallies. After battling it out for 61 minutes, the Japanese 20-year-old Paralympic gold medallist triumphed, taking the decider 21-17.

Yu heralds a new generation of Korean wheelchair athletes.

“He’s got better after Bahrain, he’s not making as many mistakes.I was slow in the beginning and wasn’t ready. In the second and third games, I sped things up, changed my style,” said Kajiwara.

In preparation for the upcoming matches, he added: “I’m really looking forward to taking on Kim Jungjun and Chan (Ho Yuen Daniel).”

Yu, 19, trains alongside some of the best wheelchair athletes in the world. While it helps him steadily improve his chair skills, it was not enough to overcome Kajiwara this time.

“I need to relax a little, I was nervous. I played more rallies, longer ones, hoping to push Daiki into making mistakes but he just doesn’t,” he said.

Supriadi (left) and Widodo are back in action.

Patience is Key

Supriadi and Agung Widodo surprised Noor Azwan Noorlan/Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli, and themselves, when they took the first game of the Wheelchair (WH1-WH2) men’s doubles 21-13.

The Indonesians lost the next two to their Malaysian opponents 21-14 21-12.

“We felt fit and just played the best we knew. Ultimately, they are a more experienced pair and more patient. We tend to rush to finish quickly. We haven’t been able to train together for a long time due to the pandemic. We need to work on our stamina to make it through a long match,” said Supriadi.


Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren dug deep to overcome Akiko Sugino (Japan) 19-21 21-16 21-18 in Standing Upper (SU5) women’s singles.

“I’m at my best now. I don’t think I’ve played like this in a long time. I’ve beaten her before and I know I’m better than her,” said Rosengren.

She was only able to start training three weeks ago after recovering from an injury sustained in March.

“For a while now, I haven’t been comfortable on court for various reasons but I feel good now.”

A contributing factor to her newfound confidence is new coach Michael Rasmussen but it is dad Jan Hasborg who is keeping a close eye on her from the back of the court.

“It was rather last minute when my coach got stuck in a Covid close contact situation and couldn’t travel. My parents decided to come to look after me because of that injury. Having them here is giving me the support I need.”

Dad’s support spurs Rosengren.


“It’s not just the injury but the last year, especially after Tokyo 2020 when I didn’t make it past the group stage, I was struggling. I wasn’t comfortable on court or in my head. It’s been a long journey to start believing in myself again and that I can play.” – Rosengren


“We haven’t been playing together for very long so we are also trying to figure out how to coordinate better. I guess you could say we need that chemistry and balance.” – Noor Azwan