Zehra Baglar triumphs in Uganda (Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Baglar bags a brace of Golds
Date: 4/28/2019 3:28 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Turkey’s Zehra Baglar grabs today’s headline with a surprise double gold in Uganda

Baglar dominated the SU5 women’s singles this week in the absence of the world’s top 10, and despite the obvious competition, the Turk asserted herself fully. 5 matches to win the title, all of them in straight games, 8 of those sets were to single-figures and the final versus India’s Palak Kohli was a decisive 21-12, 21-11 performance.

The SL3-SU5 women’s doubles win came as the more surprising result of the week for Baglar. A defeat to Kohli and partner Parul Parmar (IND) in the group stages, she and partner Manasi Joshi (IND) switched sides of the draw and both pairs made it through to this afternoon’s final. 

Revenge for Baglar and Joshi, an exciting 15-21, 21-16, 21-15 victory saw them take the title and racked up an impressive 309 minutes of court-time for Zehra Baglar this week, a well-deserved double-gold.

READ: The winners for the BEC awards 2018

Europe’s Golden Girl takes a gold and two silvers

WH1 European Champion Valeska Knoblauch will be proud of today’s performance, and indeed this week of competition. Triple gold was in sight, but sadly just 8 points too far away for the young German. 

What is impressive is the manner in which Knoblauch conducted her business on court here this week, not least the way she bounced back from 20-22, 21-19, 17-21 defeat in the WH1-2 mixed-doubles final with partner Young-Chin Mi, the first match on court this morning against Afinogenov (RUS) and Seckin (TUR) to then take the singles title and battle hard to the end in the women’s doubles later.

Dominant in the WH1 women’s singles all week, today’s final against Israeli Nina Gorodetzky was over in just 27 minutes with a score of 21-10, 21-16. And after an hour and a half of court-time so far, Knoblauch and Elke Rongen began a gruelling 3 setter against Pilar Cancino (PER) and Henriett Koosz (AUT) which went right down to the wire 21-18, 15-21, 17-21.

“I feel very happy with the results today, both doubles finals were close 3 set matches. I focus on both singles and doubles at the moment and the singles went to plan”

“Great for ranking points this year, but we did hope to win the doubles, so that’s a little disappointing. I’m feeling confident at the moment, preparations are going well at home. 3 tournaments in now and the results are showing that hard work is paying off”

“I really hope to maintain my form moving onto Canada, Ireland and the World Championships and hope to do one better in the doubles”

Paralympic Hope for Toupe

Frenchman David Toupe has it tough. His main obstacle in the WH1 men’s singles is the giant figure of Germany’s Thomas Wandschneider, a man he has failed to surpass in the past 2 years. Proof that he is never far behind the German however is today’s singles final result 11-21, 26-24, 16-21. 

So many results between these two great rivals that parallel this over many years now. Two names consistent with the European Championships Final’s Day line up ever since we can remember.. and it is clear to say the German has the upper hand.

Where the waters are muddied is the qualification process for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Players can qualify for the singles via the doubles qualification ranking list. “That’s very strange!” we hear you all say, and yes… we agree… this is very strange. 

But when the BWF and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) agree 14 events are to be displayed, that’s 14 different gold medals available and yet only 90 athletes will make it to the games (there are only 90 bed-spaces), then it can be understood that players will need to be involved in more than one event if the draws for each are more than 6 players. 

In other words, you might be ranked 2 in the world in doubles with your partner from the same country and ranked much lower in singles and yet you may get a nice comfy bed in Tokyo for a few weeks in the summer of 2020… oh, and will be required to play some badminton whilst you’re there. Throw into the mix the need for each major continent to be represented, bipartite slots and limits on the number of athletes from the same country and the whole thing becomes fascinating and not the least bit confusing.

“But what does this have to do with Toupe and Wandschneider?” we hear you ask. Well, they’re both ranked in the top 7 in WH1 men’s singles, and the likelihood is only ONE of them will make it to the Games. The German is also ranked highly in men’s doubles, but with Englishman Martin Rooke.

Wandschneider played doubles this week with German teammate and world singles number 11 Young-Chin Mi. They met a pair in yesterday’s semi-finals and lost. The pair were French and their names are David Toupe and Thomas Jakobs. The result was in straight games and Toupe with Jakobs went on to win gold today in the final! Toupe had this to say

“It was an important victory for us, we played very well in the semis and final today. It is a step towards bigger things after only 3 tournaments together. 

“Probably the top 6 pairs in the world will qualify for the Paralympics and we need to be close to that and to be the tope Europeans to have a chance.”

I’m disappointed for the singles. He played well and I made too many mistakes in the 3rd set, but it is still close”

We don’t know about you, but we are on the edge of our seats.

The Uganda Para-Badminton International 2019 finished today with 6 European gold medals. India topped the leader board with 11 golds, click here for the full set of results on tournament software with this link.

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