May 9, 2021

DUBAI PARA BADMINTON INTERNATIONAL: FRANCE THREATENS INDIA’S DOMINATION

India is in the running for eight gold and France is in position to take six after Day 5 of the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Dubai Para International 2021.

Already Winners

Day 5 also saw three winners being declared, all in the women’s categories.

Emine Seckin (Turkey) and To Man-Kei (Belgium) topped their women’s doubles Wheelchair (WH1-WH2) group while Tatiana Gureeva (Russia) is the women’ singles WH2 winner.

Indonesia’s Leani Ratri Oktila takes home the women’s Standing Lower (SL4) gold and stands in line for two more top spots.

Oktila and Khalimatus Saadiyah (Indonesia) defeated Palak Kohli/Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar (India) 21-10 21-8 in the women’s SL3-SU5 doubles.

Oktila also secured the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 finals spot with Hary Susanto (Indonesia) after they took out Pavel Kulikov (Russia) and Lenaig Morin (France) 21-8 21-9.

India to the Fore

Pramod Bhagat (India) kept up his SL3 winning form, taking out Muhammad Huzairi Abdul Malek 21-7 21-17, and will play teammate Nitesh Kumar in the men’s singles finals.

In the men’s SL3-SL4 doubles, Nitesh Kumar and Sukant Kadam defeated Abdul Malek and Muhammad Zulfatihi Jaafar (Malaysia) 21-19 19-21 21-13 to make it an all-India final against Bhagat/Manoj Sarkar.

Sukant Kadam (India) earned another final spot when he defeated Marcel Adam (Germay) 21-11 21-11, and will play Lucas Mazur (France) in the men’s singles SL4.

“I’m tired and I’m feeling some pain in my left leg, the good one. I have seen Sukant play and had prepared a match plan but too many of my shuttles went out easily. Still, I’m happy I’ve done as well as I did here,” said Adam.

India’s Prem Kumar Ale and Gureeva won the mixed WH1-WH2 doubles against Girishkumar Jayanthilal Sharma (India) and Shaimaa Samy Ab D Ellatif (Egypt) 21-5 21-7.

Ale and Abu Hubaida (India) got past Marc Elmer (Switzerland) and Alexander Polstyankin (Russia) 21-12 21-7 in the men’s WH1-WH2 semifinals but Ale was denied the men’s WH1 singles final spot by Malaysia’s Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli who won 21-18 21-17.

“I was a little bit nervous before the match because I lost when I played against him in men’s doubles yesterday. Although I’m ranked higher than him, I knew I couldn’t be overconfident. Generally, the Indian players have very strong shots and they attack a lot but I won because I managed to control the game,” said Ramli.

The men’s doubles WH1-WH2 did not go Ramli’s way as he and Noor Azwan Noorlan (Malaysia) lost 21-12 18-21 9-21 to France’s David Toupe and Thomas Jakob.

The Indian women will also be out for gold.

Palak Kohli ousted Beatriz Monteiro (No.2 seed) 21-18 21-15 and will play Megan Hollander (The Netherlands) in the women’s SU5 singles.

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi heads for a rematch with her round one opponent Oksana Kozyna (Ukraine).

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Ukraine’s Oksana Kozyna saw off India’s Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar 21-11 22-20, and will take on Manasi Girishchandra Joshi (India) in the women’s SL3 finals.
  • Noor Azwan Noorlan (Malaysia) had a shaky start but overcame Luca Olgiati (Switzerland) 8-21 21-19 21-17 in the WH2 men’s singles semifinals.

QUOTES OF THE DAY

“I never expected I’d make it this far. I’ve been in full training in quarantine since the Covid 19 lockdown and I feel totally different. I had no confidence before and now I want to fight instead of fear my opponents. For me, this is the first step towards the next, and given enough time I will reach the top.” – Noorlan.

“The men’s singles is a priority for me. I’ve beaten Lucas before and I’m in good shape now. If I win then I’ll know that all the work I’ve done this past year has paid off.” Kadam.