Rickard Nilsson at last year's European Championships (Badminton Europe/Mark Phelan)
European SL4s put to the test in Ottawa
Date: 5/8/2019 10:22 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

The struggle is real for the SL4 singles classes in Canada as Europeans start to fall out of this year’s forth Para-Badminton International

Men’s singles SL4 Group F sets the tone for the week in Canada. The realisation that although a seeded position helps provide a player with a good draw, it does not mean the early stages are going to be easy at international events however, now that Paralympic ranking points are up for grabs.

Sweden’s Rickard Nilsson is the world number 5, seeded in the group and favourite to go through to the knock-out stages; on paper at least. Germany’s Jan-Niklas Pott, the world number 17 would be the second choice to escape the group according to the rankings.

An upset was staged now that Taipei’s Cheng Che Lin is back on the singles circuit, unseen since memorable world championship finals back in 2011 and 2013. Nilsson’s first group game yesterday was a severe wake up call, defeated 21-14, 21-11 by Cheng inside of half an hour.

READ: Circuit debut for Denmark Challenge

The Swede refocussed and came back strongly this afternoon, with a 21-13, 21-10 win over Pott, and is likely to make it through Group F in second place, albeit giving himself a tougher route to the later stages now that he ought to face a group winner in the first round of the knock-outs. He said:

“JNP is always a tough opponent, I felt great today, confident, and controlled the rallies so it went well. Yesterday was a different story! I had trouble controlling the pace of the game and didn’t have great touch, I felt behind for the most part.”

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I’ll take it match by match and see what happens. This year has been okay so far, some tough draws but I feel I have more to give. Hopefully I can stay healthy and get good enough results to make the Paralympic qualification.”

Similarly in SL4 men’s singles Group A, Tim Haller (GER) the world number 12 faced both top seed Lucas Mazur (FRA) and Suhas Lalinakere (IND) who have both won internationals already this season, and failed to make an impact on the event as he lost in straight games and makes his exit from the draw.

Similar story for Europe’s top SL4 females

Happily for Europe, we have 4 women inside the top 10 of the current SL4 singles world rankings. Sadly though, 3 of them feature together in Group B of the Canada International, and the other will face her toughest test in years to get through this stage.

French Faustine Noel has made it to 5 in the world, yet she is finding life hard in SL4 Group C. With her is Indonesia’s Khalimatus Sukohandoko who featured in the semi-final stages at both last month’s Dubai and Turkey internationals. 

Also, Japan’s Haruka Fujino who hasn’t played many international events in the last 2 years. Her last outing was the 2017 Japan international where she beat Noel in the quarter-finals. Today Fujino overcame Noel once more in straight games 21-14, 21-19 which means the Frenchwoman needs to beat the Indonesian to have a chance of going through.

Group B sees Norway’s Helle Sagoy, the world number 3 up against Scotland’s Mary Wilson and Germany’s Katrin Seibert in a European group of death. Unfortunately for one of these players, their singles dream will end in the group tomorrow. 

The Canada Para-Badminton International 2019 begins on Tuesday this week. Look out for updates and results each day on tournament software here.

© All rights reserved.

Related news
Legends: Kenneth Jonassen
The Thomas Cup, which unfortun...

Asian leg of HSBC BWF World Tour moved to January 2021
The Asian leg of the adjusted ...

Seedings are here for the Denmark Open
With less than three weeks unt...

Get to know Kristin Kuuba
In this article, we get to kno...

The national championships you may have missed over the weekend
You may be thinking, but isn’t...

Steve Butler: high potential to succeed
Poland has announced their new...

More news