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Daniel Bethell in the Paralympic gold medal match (credit ParabadmintonPhoto)
Bethell takes the silver medal
Date: 9/4/2021 2:25 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Team GB claim their first medal in Paralympic badminton


The world number one and two were huge favourites to battle it out in the SL3 men’s singles final, and they didn’t disappoint today. Team GB’s Daniel Bethell started on the ‘bad-end’ and did his best to keep up with Pramod Bhagat (IND) in a superb game of half court singles, the likes of which we don’t see often.


Bhagat took the first 21-14, but Bethell got a huge lead of eight points at the start of the second and it looked like we were in for another Bethell-Pramod epic. However the pressure started to show as Pramod’s relentless attacks were getting through and Bethell was up against it at 16-16.


The class of Bhagat shone through in the end, closing out five of the next six points and getting his hands on Paralympic Gold. After the match, Bethell had this to say


-It's disappointing. I came here to win the gold medal. That was my goal and I fell short today but looking at it, Bhagat played very well. His attack was so good, he kept that up from the beginning. He deserved it and I'm so proud of just getting to the final and winning a Paralympic medal at the Paralympic Games and being the first British player [in Para badminton) to do it. I'm more proud than anything.


- This is not the end for me. I'm going in all guns blazing for Paris 2024 and turn this silver into gold. For now, I'm going to enjoy the moment and enjoy standing on the podium.



Mazur and Noel aim for two medals each


Lucas Mazur made it to a second Paralympic final this afternoon in Tokyo, this time the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles with partner Faustine Noel after a one-sided semi-final against Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino.


He was powerful from the rear court and Noel was decisive in the mid-to-net area, ending the rallies clinically. They move onto tomorrow’s final against top seeds Hary Susanto and Leani Oktila (INA), the World Champions.


Noel fights for bronze in the women’s doubles today (below) and Mazur will be on court in the men’s singles final against Suhas Yathiraj (IND) tomorrow, before the mixed doubles final which is the last match of the day on the Standing courts.


Read: Why the EU17C21 in Slovenia is a big deal


Turkey miss out on Bronze


The top seed, seventeen-year-old Liu Yutong was Emine Seckin’s opponent in the WH2 women’s singles semi-final this morning, and the Chinese superstar lived up to her billing as she dominated Seckin in every area of the half-court. The score was 21-7, 21-4.


Turkish Seckin went onto compete for a bronze medal against Yuma Yamazaki this afternoon, the world number three. Japan’s top WH2 singles player had too many weapons for Seckin, who misses out on that medal with a score of 21-16, 21-8.


Noel and Morin put up a great fight


Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel were outclassed by world number one pair Oktila and Khalimatus (INA) in the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles semi-final this morning 21-9, 21-15. Leani Oktila is now going for Gold in all three events, as Morin and Noel headed to a Bronze medal play off against Ito Noriko and Ayako Suzuki this afternoon

 

It was point-for-point in the opening game of this bronze medal match, Japan sneaking into the lead at the mid-game interval and holding on to a 21-16 end. At one point in the second the French pair had a seven-point lead but allowed the Japanese to get back into the game, who had enough class at the end to close out the match in two games with a 21-18 finish.


And there’s always tomorrow


Karin Suter-Erath and Cynthia Mathez were beaten by the Chinese world number two pair Liu Yutong and Yin Menglu in the WH1-2 women’s doubles semi-final earlier today. The Suise pair go for Bronze tomorrow against the third seeds Amnouy Wetwithan and Sujirat Pookkham (THA)


Other Europeans in action tomorrow


Helle Sagoey (NOR) vs. Ma Hui Hui CHN) – SL4 women’s singles, bronze medal playoff

Lucas Mazur (FRA) vs. Suhas Yathiraj (IND) – SL4 men’s singles, gold medal match

Krysten Coombs (ENG) vs Vitor Tavares (BRA) – SH6, bronze medal playoff




The Paralympic badminton schedule can be found here, with livestreams of one wheelchair and one standing court.

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