Lucas Mazur at the European Championships 2018, Rodez
2018 highlights - Standing and SS6
Date: 12/30/2018 2:06 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Two of the 3 nominees for BWF Para Player of the Year were Europeans in 2018. SL4 Frenchman Lucas Mazur and Team GB’s SS6 Jack Shephard.

The world number one SL4 from France was dominant in the men’s singles class this year, taking gold in all 6 international events he entered, including the European Championships. 

Combined with a strong attempt at SU5’s men’s doubles this year by playing a category higher with teammate Meril Loquette, Mazur was also able to clinch the European mixed doubles title with Faustine Noel as they remain the fifth ranked pair in the world.

Europe’s winner of the prestigious BWF Para Player of the Year was Jack Shephard. Arguably the only man to outshine Mazur in terms of wins in 2018 with 11 from 12 international competitions. 5 of 6 singles events he entered including the Euros, Team GB’s SS6 star also won all 6 men’s doubles titles with teammate Krysten Coombs who himself featured in 4 of those men’s singles finals.  

READ: 2018 highlights - Wheelchair classes

Single-minded success

Norway’s SL4 Helle Sagoy climbed back to world number 2 after lifting the European title combined with a win in Spain this year as she strives to make the Paralympic Rankings from April. 

European Champion Catherine Rosengren from Denmark also rises to number 2 in the SU5 women’s singles after also picking up the Denmark and Thailand trophies.

Team GB’s Daniel Bethell has battled back and forward with a foot injury over the past 18 months, but when fit, his talents continue to shine with wins in Spain, Japan and a successful retention as 3 times European Champion. Bethell continues to challenge as world number 4.

Poland’s Para Hero Bartlomiej Mroz managed to stay at world number 3 under increasing pressure from Asia in the SU5 men’s singles rankings. Hard fought performances in Brazil, Japan and Dubai will no doubt pale in significance to the win he fought so hard to achieve in the European Championships over friend and career long rival Turkey’s Ilker Tuzcu.

With few 2018 tournaments under her belt, England’s Rachel Choong slips from world number 1 for the first time in her career, despite an impressive European Championship win and final in Spain. Challenging Choong for the European title was teammate Rebecca Bedford, who’s final performance in Ireland sees her retain world number 3 spot.

Double delight

Guillaume Gailly and Mathieu Thomas (FRA) climb to world number 2 pair in the SL3-4 men’s doubles after impressive results in Brazil, Turkey and runner-up position in the Euros. Taking the European title, Jan-Niklas Pott and Pascal Wolter (GER) maintain number 4 spot with help from the finals they made in Japan and Spain.

Guillaume Gailly and Mathieu Thomas, Europeans 2018

Challenging Mazur and Noel in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles, Germany’s Marcel Adam and Katrin Seibert took the silver at the European Champs. Among other good performances, they crucially beat their French rivals in the quarter-finals in Japan which helped push them up to world number 4.

Seibert with partner Helle Sagoy took the SL3-SU5 European women’s doubles title to complement their win in Spain to get to world number 2 ahead of strong Asian doubles pairs. 

England’s SS6 world champion women’s doubles pairing Rachel Choong and Rebecca Bedford went through the year undefeated. As did Choong in the SS6 mixed doubles with teammate Andrew Martin. 

VIEW: Photos from the European Para-Badminton Championships 2018 here

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