Meril Loquette celebrates today in Tokyo (credit Badminton Photo)
European SU5s lead the way in Tokyo
Date: 11/14/2019 8:57 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Loquette and Rosengren back to their best at the Paralympic Test Event.

Day one saw some interesting results across all Para badminton categories in Tokyo. Seeds were beaten in early group stage matches as players battle recent injuries and continue to struggle to compete at this Japan international, which doubles as the Paralympic Test Event for next year. 

Two players expected to find things unusually difficult were Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren and Meril Loquette of France, but for very different reasons.

Loquette suffered something of a meltdown in Denmark last month, losing five of his six matches across men’s singles and doubles. The match he won looked comfortable on paper, yet he scraped through 21-19 in a third game and failed to exit the group. Something was clearly wrong.

World number seven Loquette was back to his best today in the SU5 men’s singles, and he needed to be. He faced the big-smashing Indonesian Oddie Kurnia Dwi Listiant Putra in the first group game, a man capable of medals, but the in-form Frenchman took the match 21-19, 16-21, 24-22 and had this to say shortly after

- It was a very good match today for me, I’m nearly 100% and feel good. Certainly better than my performance in Denmark last month. I had some trouble and needed to go back to France to work on my mental preparations.

- It was a different training perspective for me, and I feel ready now. Ready for the fight. Today was difficult, the Indonesian is very, very strong. I had some luck and took the match. I am very happy. The venue is very good, and as always the organisation is fantastic, said Loquette

Read: Danish doubles do the business in Hong Kong

‘It’s a great opportunity to play here ahead of the Paralympics’

Cathrine Rosengren suffered a knee injury at the World Championships in Basel in August. She fought on injured for the next couple of events, and eventually sought medical advice as her knee was not improving. 

Minor surgery and then rehab meant the world number 3 had to pull out of the Denmark International last month, her home event.

Today she was back on the mat and dispatched China’s number two SU5 women’s singles player Li Tongtong in straight games. We spoke with Rosengren this afternoon who said 

- Li was injured in China and she isn’t fit yet. It was obvious to see by her movement on court today. It became quite an easy match for me today which was unexpected.

- I have a tough group, but that’s good for me as I’ll have some real tests before I hope to make the latter stages, she added

- My rehab has been good and the minor surgery I had seems to have worked well. Pulling out of the Denmark tournament was tough, but definitely the right decision and I’m pain free at the moment. I am not yet 100% but happy to be back on court and training as well. 

- It is great to play here at the new venue and try the hall as it is a lot bigger than what we are typically used to. A great opportunity to play here before the Paralympics next year

To follow the Japan Para badminton International 2019, see tournament software here for draws and results. You can also watch selected matches on YouTube by following this link to the livestream

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