Emine Seckin, Jack Shephard and David Toupe with their medals from Dubai para-badminton international 2018 (Photo: Badminton Europe / Bobby Griffin)
Seckin, Toupe and Shephard lead Europe’s medal haul in Dubai
Date: 4/15/2018 3:13 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

3 of Europe’s finest para-badminton players take 2 gold medals each from the first ever Dubai International.

England’s Jack Shephard solidifies his place as SS6 men’s singles world number 1 today, winning his fourth international title in Dubai by beating Didin Tareosh (MAL) in straight games. In a repeat of the 2017 world championships semi-final and in difficult playing conditions, Shephard the recently crowned European Para-Player of the year dominated the first game, taking the set 21-7, it seemed the Malaysian had no answer to the Englishman’s shot making and court coverage. The second game was a sheer contrast to the first, a much better spectacle as Tareosh manoeuvred his opponent around the court. Saving 2 match points, Shephard finally managed to clinch the match in a thrilling finale 24-22 and continues his 10 month unbeaten run, having not lost a match since the Irish international in June 2017

“I went out strong in the first set and used the conditions to my advantage. I struggled in the second to get a good length which meant he could pin me in the rear court. I had to use a lot of grit and determination to get through the game. I’m so pleased with the win!” 

In the SS6 men’s doubles Shephard and teammate Krysten Coombs had to once again face Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai and Wong Chun Yim. The Englishman took the match in 2 games 21-12, 21-16

“My partner Krysten Coombs put in a good graft, they were really trying to punish him throughout the match. Between us we had enough variation and made some really good shots to get through that doubles final”.

Terrific Toupe takes two

David Toupe (FRA) made it to two finals in WH1 men’s singles and WH1-2 men’s doubles with Chan Ho Yuen (HKG). The doubles was up first, against their closely matched opponents from Malaysia Madzlan Saibon and Muhammad Ikhwan Ramli the number 1 seeds. Under real pressure at times, Toupe played superbly and had enough skill to help overcome the strong Asian pair, taking the match 21-11, 21-23, 23-21 the longest match of the day. 

Toupe then went on to make it double-gold by beating Ramli in the men’s singles final, another hard fought match that ended 19-21, 21-13, 21-13. Two of the longest matches of the day, ensuring Toupe had to work hard for both medals. Toupe’s thoughts on his success this week

“I’m very proud because I love to play my style of badminton with pleasure. Last year I was struggling with injury but this is a new year and I’m happy. It has been a great tournament and well organised considering it was the first one here in Dubai. I loved to come here”.

Read: World Champion honoured as BEC Male Player of the year

Seckin won’t settle for second

Turkey’s Emine Seckin proved the strongest player in WH2 in Dubai this week, taking both the WH2 women’s singles and the WH1-2 mixed doubles with partner Roberto Galdos (ESP). The mixed final was a hard fought 3 game battle against Abu Habaida (IND) and Cynthia Mathez (SUI). Seckin took on her teammate Narin Uluc in the singles final and once again showed her class winning 21-9, 21-16.

Allez Lucas!

Lucas Mazur (FRA) back from injury took another SL4 men’s singles title today, beating India’s Sukant Kadam 21-16, 21-18. The match did not go entirely the Frenchman’s way, down at times in both games but managed to find a way back into the lead and crucially kept a cool head under pressure during the key moments.  He and teammate Faustine Noel went on to face Harry Susanto and Leani Ratri Oktila (INA) in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles final later, however the Indonesian’s had too many weapons in attack and a solid defence that kept the French away from the title.

Europeans take 8 gold medals home in total, compared to 9 for the rest of the world, and can be incredibly proud of their performances this week. 

We look forward to the next para-badminton event in Uganda in 2 weeks’ time.

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