Valeska Knoblauch in golden form at the European Championships 2018 (credit Badminton Europe / Mark Phelan)
Golden Girl in China
Date: 9/29/2019 2:01 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin

Valeska Knoblauch took gold in the WH1 women’s singles class in Hangzhou this morning.

A round-robin format suited Knoblauch’s plans this week. The lack of numbers in China proved to be a concentration of the world’s best, and helped reduce the pressure that the German placed on herself. The European champion and world number two faced three of the best players in the world this week.

She was up against Sarina Satomi the Japanese world champion and current number one, and both Yin Munglu and Zhang Jing of China who have won internationals against top opposition so far this year. Only Thailand’s Sujirat Pookkham was absent from the list of 2019 title winners. To be the best this week against a field this strong is really something.

The only WH1 women’s singles match played today was the last remaining and featured Knoblauch against Menglu. A confident 21-14, 21-18 win for the German meant she joined Satomi and Zhang on a three match wins to one loss performance. The gold medal would be decided on total games won and lost and it was the German who was in the clear lead.

Badminton Europe spoke to Valeska a short while ago, she had this to say:

- Throughout the whole week I felt more relaxed than on other tournaments. I came here with less expectation and because the field is so small yet so strong I saw it as a training, where I could learn a lot.

- I played every match thinking about my game plan, instead of points, or winning or losing. I hope I can take this feeling to future tournaments

Read: BEC Parabadminton Event

Two gold medals for Europe

In addition to Valeska Knoblauch’s gold medal, Lucas Mazur (FRA) took the SL4 men’s singles title beating Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan with a comfortable straight games win. The world champion adds a forth 2019 title to his list of honours.

A couple of silver medals

England’s Daniel Bethell once again fell to an impressive Pramod Bhagat (IND) in a repeat of the recent World Championships final, this time the score was 21-19, 13-21, 14-21. These two men have really shown this year how far ahead of the rest of the world they are. Bethell stated after the match:

- I feel I’m getting closer, he was rattled at times. Every time I play him I feel I’m learning a bit more. My one and only goal now is to beat him with qualification near enough done.

Teammate Krysten Coombs found things difficult against the fast and strong Chu Man Kai (HKG) in the final, losing to a 7-21, 16-21 score line. He told us:

- It was tough! He was just too strong for me again today. I couldn’t control the match. 

- Of course I wanted the gold, but I am still really happy with the result this week, and delighted with the win against Shephard yesterday, he added.

For a full list of China Para-Badminton International 2019 results, see tournament software here

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