China take top honours at season-ending Fazza-Dubai Para Badminton event

Paralympic and Asian Para Games stars Qu Zimo and Yin Menglu (WH1) and Liu Yutong (WH2) continued their amazing run of form

By Team KT

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More than 300 shuttlers from 41 nations took part in the event. — Supplied photo
More than 300 shuttlers from 41 nations took part in the event. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 8:33 PM

New stars emerged while seasoned players stamped their dominance as curtains fell on the season-ending 5th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2023.

Paralympic and Asian Para Games stars Qu Zimo and Yin Menglu (WH1) and Liu Yutong (WH2) continued their amazing run of form to clinch two gold medals each as China finished on the top with nine gold medals.

There were also others like Li Fengmei (WS SH6), Cheng Hefang (WS SL4) adding to China’s tally with gold medals.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Muhammed Fareez Anuar claimed his first singles title of the year while Nigeria’s Mariam Eniola Bolaji clinched her first gold in Dubai following an amazing week.

Anuar overcame Paralympic champion Cheah Liek Hou in straight games 21-19, 21-19 for the men’s singles SU5 final, before they together clinch their eighth men’s doubles SU 5 title in the year.

“I am satisfied with my performance here. I am happy to maintain a top form until the end of the year. Anuar has improved a lot in his game but there’s a lot of things he must learn and become solid at a few things,” said Liek Hou.

Bolaji, who has been unbeaten this year, was stretched to the limit by Indonesian world no. 1 Syakuroh Qonitah Ikthtiar before the Nigerian pulled off a 21-7, 13-21, 21-11 win over the latter in the women’s singles SL3 final.

“She (Syakuroh) was a tough opponent. She has good balance and is all over the court. Happy to finally win it and achieve one of my goals this year,” said an exhausted Bolaji.

Among other top finishers were Paralympic champion Daiki Kajiwara who maintained his dominance and won the men’s singles WH2 final winning over Hong Kong’s Daniel Chan Ho Yuen 21-14, 21-15.

The Japanese star also crossed his 100th consecutive win after he won his semifinals on Saturday.

“I don’t think about records when I am in the court. For me I follow what my coach says,” said Kajiwara.

Chan Ho Yuen added: “Kajiwara is a natural talent. It’s difficult to overcome his challenge; he is so disciplined and so focused and his control over the shuttle is amazing.”

In men’s standing events, Paralympic champion Pramod Bhagat finished second to his English arch-rival Daniel Bethell going down in straight games 17-21, 8-21.

Bhagat, the Asian Para Games champion, later admitted he ran out of stamina and power in the game. “He was a better player today. Post the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Bethell has worked a lot in his game, and I can see his progress. I must get back on track now, work hard on my fitness and strength,” said Bhagat who also lost his SL3-SU5 mixed doubles final to Indonesia’s Leani Ratri Oktila and Hikmat Ramdani.

Meanwhile, India's Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj fell to Malaysia’s Mohd Amin Burhanuddin 21-13, 21-16 in the men's singles SL4 final but was content with the way he played in the year.

Having started the year ranked 39th after missing out several Level 1 tournaments, Yathiraj slowly climbed the ladder making the most in the Level 2 events.


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