General

Shabab Al-Ahli Sports Club, Dubai (photo Badminton Europe / Bobby Griffin)
Day One in the United Arab Emirates
Date: 4/12/2018 8:44 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

The inaugural Dubai Para-Badminton International 2018 got underway today at the Shabab Al-Ahli Sports Club. Whilst most of the games went to format, shock draws made things difficult for Europe.



A first tournament in Dubai sees 110 athletes including several world champions from 23 countries, and importantly from 4 different continents. These are positive numbers for a first-time tournament, and though we should expect the usual hiccups on opening day, it was clear from the opening ceremony and from interviewing the BWF that the para-badminton world is keen to see Dubai make a good foundation here. Syahmi Sabron, BWF Event Manager had this to say


“the local organising committee have done a good job in preparations for the event. The venue set up, accommodation and transportation has all be good, especially considering this is a first tournament in Dubai and a first event for elite international para-badminton athletes on this scale. We hope to see this tournament grow in the next few years and see more and more athletes coming here. We know Dubai are capable of hosting major events and are making this a priority, which means they’re willing to deliver to the standard the BWF expect, so that is good for the athletes”.



Read: Adam Hall: We’ve been consistent



The Draw


Much was publicised on social media during last month’s All England, as able bodied players waited until midnight before day one to find out what time their matches were scheduled. This is the norm for all para-badminton players, due to the classifying of new/under-review players that takes place at the start of each competition week and means the draw is not published until that same time. This gives an extra edge of excitement to opening day when, for instance, the number 2 Indonesian in the SU5 men’s singles, Asian Games semi-finalist Oddie Kurnia Dwi Listiant Putra, is drawn in the same group as the world number 1 Cheah Liek Hou (MAL) and Europe’s world number 6 Ilker Tuzcu (TUR). 


New BWF rules on doubles rankings also mean that pairs are ranked only with points from tournaments where they have appeared as a pair, previously a player carried individual doubles points earned, thus a new pairing may have previously seeded highly. From 2018 only pairs are ranked and so these early tournaments under the new rules may see strong players unseeded and causing upsets. We shall watch with interest to see the impact this has.


Look out for all results from Dubai on Tournament Software here.



England’s SS6 off to a flying start


New world number 1 Jack Shephard stamped his authority on the SS6 men’s singles today, with his 21-13, 21-3 win over former world champion Niall McVeigh (IRE) in the group stages. Close on Shephard’s heels, teammate Krysten Coombs also made a solid start by beating India’s Raja Magotra 21-15, 21-11. A result which is far from the narrow 21-19 in the 3rd game win Coombs needed in last year’s world championships to Magotra. Both Englishmen continuing to show their dominance of the category now 7 months on from a single loss to any player in the world, other than each other. Coombs had this to say 


“I made sure I got onto the front foot and was in control of the game this time. I made the mistake last time of sitting back and let the match run away with me. The conditions are tough, a big hall and some drift but that’s the group finished and I’m looking forwards to the knock out stages.


There’s a lot to look forward to coming to Dubai! The money, the cars.. it’s pretty cool. And they’ve done well with the event I think. Clearly it’s their first time as it wasn’t very smooth this morning, but they’re learning as they go”.



New kids on the block


Host nation UAE and the new Ukrainian team both had a baptism-of-fire today, their total of 17 matches among both nations on day one resulted in not a single game won. The present day standard of para-badminton is high and this tournament is well represented, it is great to see the sport continues to grow as we move towards the Paralympics 2020




Look forward to BEC´s daily features.  To follow the BWF Dubai Para Badminton International 2018, visit our platforms below


BEC Website


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