Knoblauch in triumph at European Championships final win (credit Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
A second chance in Dubai
Date: 3/31/2019 7:35 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

This week sees the 2nd Fazza – Dubai Para-Badminton International get underway in the UAE, and a second opportunity to pick up ranking points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Yesterday in Turkey we witnessed a shift in power to Asia and in particular to the Chinese who topped the medal table at the first para-badminton international of the year.

With Dubai this week being the first ever back-to-back event in para-badminton, this gives the UAE city a second chance at hosting such an event and also gives hopefuls a second chance at collecting points that could see them take a place in the Paralympics in less than 18 months’ time.

One player not daunted by the mammoth task ahead is WH1 European women’s singles champion Valeska Knoblauch. The German lost in the semi-finals to Zhang Jing from China 18-21, 21-19, 17-21 two days ago. Zhang then went onto to the final to produce a 19-21 third game epic against her Chinese teammate Yin Menglu in the final.

“It was so close and a very good game. I was really happy with my performance that day! In the lead up to that semi-final I was doubting myself, there was some confidence missing. But I think I showed in that semi-final a good reflection of how much I have improved over the past 6 months and that all the training is paying off”

READ: China set the standard for the world in Turkey

“I’m not scared of the Chinese anymore!”

Knoblauch (featured above with partner Young-Chin Mi) has made huge improvements in her game over the past 9 months. Her incredible win over multiple gold medal winner and former world number 1 Karin Suter-Erath (SUI) in November’s European final was a good indication of the form she was coming into. 

Her efforts in Turkey last week, dominating her group and cruising to the semi-final with that close scoring long match against the world’s best became proof that she is the real deal.

“I had a good game in that semi-final and I’m excited for next week in Dubai. I think to be honest I played better than she did, but I let myself down with a few silly mistakes. The close game scores are a good reflection of the level we are all at and I believe I can compete with the world’s best. Yea… I think I’ve realised that I’m not scared of the Chinese anymore!”

We wish Valeska Knoblauch and the rest of Europe’s players the best of luck in Dubai this coming week.

The 2nd Fazza - Dubai Para-Badminton International begins on Tuesday this week. Look out for updates to follow and results each day on tournament software here with this link.

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