Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan played a total of eight matches over the last two days to advance to all three of his finals at the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022.
First, Setiawan and Khalimatus Sadiyah overcame India’s Ruthick Ragupathi and Manasi Girishchandra Joshi 21-13 21-19 for an SL3-SU5 mixed doubles final against Taiyo Imai and Noriko Ito (Japan). He and Dwiyoko then secured the men’s SL3-SL4 doubles final spot when they took out Tarun Dhillon/Kumar Nitesh 21-18 21-14.
“I have some aches and pains but no serious injuries so it’s just a matter of getting enough rest between each match. Mentally it’s about adjusting my focus from singles to doubles. The way I play depends on my partner too,” said Setiawan.
Tarun will have a chance for revenge when he meets Setiawan in the SL4 men’s singles final. Tarun defeated Rickard Nilsson (Sweden) 21-19 21-19 while Setiawan beat Korean Shin Kyung Hwan 21-10 21-16 in the semifinals.
The SL3 men’s and women’s singles finals will be all-Indian affairs.
“He’s good, quick movements. I was a little slow today,” said Bhagat, who takes on countryman Nitesh in the final.
Joshi did not have it easy either when Australia’s Celine Aurelie Vinot took one game off her but fell 13-21 24-22 19-21.
“I’ve been tiring easily here. Maybe it’s the heat or the fact we’ve been travelling and competing for two weeks. These back-to-back tournaments help me judge my endurance level,” Joshi said.
Imai’s SU5 men’s singles clash against Indonesia’s Suryo Nugroho roused the audience, lasted 76 minutes and ended 21-13 12-21 22-20 for the Japanese to advance to the final against Malaysia’s Cheah Liek Hou.
Kajiwara ousted Kim 21-11 21-16 in the WH2 men’s singles semifinal and will take on Chan, who defeated Malaysia’s Noor Azwan Noorlan 21-14 21-19.
“Daiki has very good control of the wheelchair and moves fast. Plus our 24-year age gap makes a big difference. My body is recovering from a nagging shoulder pain but I have a few years of badminton in me. Maybe I’ll take this year to heal and be back on track soon,” said Kim.
Chan has been observing the young Japanese Paralympic gold medallist.
“Kajiwara is getting stronger. The Japanese and Koreans train as a group and never lack sparring partners. They focus on how to use the wheelchair to their best advantage, that’s why their movements are so precise.”
In the women’s wheelchair events, Cynthia Mathez (Switzerland) set up two finals for herself.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“I want to keep playing against Kim Jungjun because I’m a huge fan.” – Kajiwara
“The first few minutes during my match I actually had my eye on the next court watching Kim and Kajiwara.” – Chan