For the past two weekends, the country’s young players have stolen the badminton headlines with stunning results in the team and individual segments of the BWF World Junior Championships. This weekend, their physically-challenged compatriots took over the global limelight, demonstrating that disability is no deterrent once they get rackets and shuttles in their hands.
Lee Sun Ae led the way for Korea with triple gold in Wheelchair 2 Women’s Singles; Wheelchair 2 Mixed Doubles with Kim Kyunghoon (centre below; medal ceremony); and in Wheelchair 1/2 – Wheelchair 2 Women’s Doubles (Wheelchair 1/2 being a combined class), where she teamed up with Son Ok Cha. Lee was the only competitor to distinguish herself with three gold medals at these championships.
On the men’s side, Kim Kyunghoon’s success with Lee was just one of his three medals as he collected another gold and a silver in the Wheelchair 2 Men’s Doubles and Men’s Singles respectively. He lost the top spot in singles to compatriot Kim Jungjun 15-21 17-21 but then partnered his team-mate to doubles glory over England’s Gobi Ranganathan and Martin Rooke, 21-14 21-19.
Korea’s sixth victory came in Wheelchair 1 Men’s Singles, thanks to Lee Sam Seop (BWF home page).
England and India left the Helmut-Koernig Hall with fond memories too, each snagging three golds.
England showed their superiority in the Short Stature 6 division, winning Women’s Singles (Rachel Choong); Doubles (Oliver Clarke and Andrew Martin; centre above) and Mixed Doubles (Rachel Choong and Andrew Martin). The Doubles category was a combined grouping of Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles pairs due to a modest number of entries. Amid England's medal haul, Niall McVeigh (centre below; left) of Ireland wrested the Short Stature 6 Men's Singles championship.
For India, Tarun Tarun took the honours in Standing Lower 4 Men’s Singles while Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar triumphed in Standing Lower 3 Men’s Doubles. In Standing Lower 3/4 (combined SL3 and SL4 group) Women’s Singles, Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar (centre below; right) outplayed top seed, Helle Sofie Sagoy of Norway, 21-19 21-6, to claim India’s third crown.
Thailand and Malaysia also had their moments in the spotlight, capturing two golds apiece. The Thai contingent will land in Bangkok with titles in Standing Lower 4 Men’s Doubles (Chawarat Kittichokwattana and Adisak Saengarayakul), and Wheelchair 1 Mixed Doubles (Jakarin Homhaul and Sujirat Pookkhum). Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Cheah Liek Hou ensured some bragging rights for his country, winning the Standing Upper 5 class Men’s Singles as well as the Men’s Doubles equivalent with Suhaili Laiman.
Host nation, Germany, had the distinction of sharing in two gold medals as Thomas Wandschneider – partnered by David Toupé of France – won the Wheelchair 1 Men’s Doubles while another German – Katrin Seibert – and Norway’s Sagoy prevailed in the Standing class Women’s Doubles.
Seibert clinched a second title – Standing Mixed Doubles with German team-mate, Peter Schnitzler (centre below, right; with BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer and silver medallists, Adisak Saengarayakul and Nipida Saensupal of Thailand).
For all the scores from the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2013, click here.
PARA-BADMINTON SPORT CLASSES
WH 1 – a player in this class requires wheelchair to play badminton. They usually have impairment in both lower limbs and trunk function.
WH 2 – a player in this class could have impairment in one or both lower limbs and minimal or no impairment of the trunk.
SL 3 – in this class a player must play standing. The player could have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance.
SL 4 – a second standing class where the player has a lesser impairment compared to Sport Class SL 3. The player could have impairment in one or both lower limbs and minimal impairment in walking/running balance.
SU 5 – the player in this class has impairment of the upper limbs.
SS 6 – these are players who have a short stature due to a genetic condition often referred to as “dwarfism”.
N.B. WH = wheelchair; SL = standing lower; SU = standing upper; and SS = short stature.
Mamiko Toyoda - Japan (gold: Standing Upper 5 Women's Singles) and David Toupé - France (gold: Wheelchair 1 Men’s Doubles with Germany's Thomas Wandschneider)
Switzerland's Karin Suter-Erath justified her No. 1 seeding in Wheelchair 1 Women's Singles by winning gold
Pham Duc Trung of Vietnam is congratulated after winning Standing Lower 3 Men's Singles
Gold medallist in Wheelchair 1 Men’s Singles, Lee Sam Seop of Korea (right), and silver medallist, Jakarin Homhaul of Thailand, share the spotlight with BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer