Photo by the Czech Badminton Federation
A First for the Czechs - Inaugural Czech Para-Badminton Open
Date: 6/18/2018 2:22 PM
Published by : Tania Teoh
The Czech Para-Badminton Open was the first-ever international tournament for wheelchair badminton players taking place in the Czech Republic. Although this tournament is neither sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation nor Badminton Europe, it gathered 17 wheelchair players from Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. The event took place in Rousínov on 5th May 2018 and was organized by the club, Badminton Sharks Brno and the Czech Badminton Federation.

All the participants were wheelchair players. The home team consisted of three juniors and three adults who practice regularly with Badminton Sharks Brno. Apart from them, there were new faces at the tournament. Despite not being routine badminton players, they made time to join this tournament and represented the Czech Republic. 

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A special twist of the tournament

The four players are: Zuzana Přibilová and Bohuslav Dvořák, floorball players, Jiří Vrba, an active sportsman specializing on wheelchair basketball, and Zdeněk Krupička, one of the best Czech sledge ice hockey players who competed at the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang earlier this year. Although they are new to badminton, they found themselves very comfortable using the wheelchair. From international players, we had Henriette Koósz from Austria and Jakub Sikorski Codi from Poland who are national para-badminton players of their countries.
A first but definitely not the last

After the doubles and mixed doubles games in both groups, the organizers allowed the adults to play against the juniors. For the young and not so much experienced junior wheelchair players this was indeed inspiring.

ʺIn singles we saw some really hard battles. In the junior category the level of play was naturally lower but their focus and enthusiasm were the same, ʺ said Tomáš Voves, one of the organizers who has been coaching para-badminton players in Badminton Sharks Brno.

During the prize-giving ceremony, Mr. Toru Furugori from the Japanese Embassy in the Czech Republic was invited to present the medals to the winners, greet all players and wish them well for their future in sport.
ʺAll participants left Rousínov satisfied and expressed interest in the Czech Para-Badminton Open 2019, which could take place in the same place next year, ʺ added Tomáš Voves.

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Quotes from some players

ʺThe tournament in Rousinov was very friendly organized. We had exciting games and a lot of fun at this event. It was nice to see so many kids playing badminton and I hope that everyone will continue practising and go to the tournaments soon, ʺ commented Henriett Koósz, winner of women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
ʺCzech Para-Badminton Open was a great tournament. For me it was big opportunity to meet other wheelchair players and to play with them because in Poland besides youngsters who start playing, there aren’t enough wheelchair players to spar with. It was also great opportunity to meet old friends. The tournament was very well organized and there was great atmosphere. I hope in the future our Czech friends will keep on organizing such tournaments and I am sure year by year there will be more and more competitors from all around Europe and maybe even all around the world, ʺ added Jakub Sikorski Codi.
Badminton Sharks Brno started with para-badminton trainings in 2015. Since then the club have organized training camps, tournaments and other activities developing this sport for para athletes in the Czech Republic. Coaches from Badminton Sharks Brno took part in the annual BEC Para-Badminton Event, organised by Badminton Europe in Belfast last year and visited the Japanese National Centre in Tokyo as well to improve their coaching skills. The coaches are open and anxious for further cooperation with para-badminton communities all around Europe and the world.

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The winners

Women´s Singles: Henriett Koósz (AUT)
Men´s Singles: Jakub Sikorski Codi (POL)
Women´s Doubles: Henriett Koósz (AUT) and Zuzana Přibilová (CZE)
Men´s Doubles: Alexander Hanisch and Alexander Postl-Znidarcic (AUT)
Mixed Doubles: Henriett Koósz and Alexander Hanisch (AUT)

Girls´ Singles: Julia Bolibrzuch (POL)
Boys´ Singles: Tomáš Gryc (CZE)

Article by the Czech Badminton Federation

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