Dubai Para Badminton 2021: Top stars reach knockout stage
Bhagat, the reigning world champion, said he is aiming nothing less than a gold in his singles and men's doubles
It was yet another comfortable day for top para badminton stars as they advanced to the knockout stages of the 3rd Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Dubai Para Badminton International at the Shabab Al Ahli Club.
Top seeds India’s Pramod Bhagat (MS SL3) and Parul Parmar (WSSL3); France’s Lucas Mazur (MS SL4) and David Toupe (MS WH1), Indonesia’s Leani Ratri Oktila (WS SL4) and Dheva Anmirusthi (MS SU5), Krishna Nagar (MS SH6), also from India, won their respective singles and doubles matches in emphatic manner on Thursday.
Bhagat, the reigning world champion, said he is aiming nothing less than a gold in his singles and men’s doubles SL3-SL4 where he is paired with Manoj Sarkar and is seeded one.
“I would like to thank BWF and Dubai organisers for creating a wonderful atmosphere to play in this Covid situation. I am enjoying playing here after long time,” said Bhagat who will face Ukun Rukaendi in his men’s singles SL3 quarterfinals on Friday. The Indian defeated newcomer from Maldives, Abdul Latheef Mohamed, 21-10, 21-9 in his third-round singles match.
Indonesian top players Oktila and Dheva, who have won their matches in convincing way, felt that they still needed some time to get used to the conditions here.
“I am grateful I could win in both of her matches today and able to adapt to the court condition comparing to the day before. I want to win three gold,” said Oktila who is seeded one in women’s singles SL4, women’ s doubles SL3-SU5 with Sadiyah Khalimatus and mixed doubles SL3-Su5 with seasoned Hary Susanto.
Frenchman Mazur, top seed and among the title favourites, pulled off easy wins in the men’s singles SL4 and men’s doubles SL3-SU5 so far but was challenged by the Indian pair of Chirag Baretha and Mandeep Kaur before the French duo won 21-15, 21-18 on the day.
Nagar felt a good show at the tournament will boost his confidence going ahead in this important year of Paralympics and World Championships.
The Rajasthan player pulled off an easy 21-12, 21-5 win over Ukraine’s Nina Kozlova. The SH6 men’s and women’s category has been combined at this championship owing to lesser number of players.
However, reigning world champion and second seed Manasi Joshi was stretched to the limit before winning it against Turkey’s Halime Yildiz 21-13, 13-21, 21-17 in a 38-minute women’s singles SL3 Group B match.
As many as 127 players from 29 countries including hosts United Arab Emirates are participating at the championships.
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