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Daniel Bethell knocks out Fujihara on his home soil today (credit Badminton Photo)
Bethell unstoppable
Date: 11/16/2019 9:41 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Daniel Bethell faced two of the world’s top five within four hours on Saturday in Tokyo, and eases into his sixth final of the year.


The Japan international this week doubles as the Paralympic test event ahead of next year’s Games. As such the schedule dictates that the SL3 (and many other categories) quarter and semi-final matches are scheduled for the same day.


The European Champion faced one of Japan’s top ranked players in the quarterfinal, and had to overcome not only Daisuke Fujihara, but also the home crowd. We spoke with Bethell that evening, he had this to say.


- It’s been a long day today. Due to the scheduling I played the quarters and semi-final in the space of four hours which isn’t ideal, they were both tough battles and long games as you’d expect. It’s the Paralympic test-event so this is the way it will be when it matters next year.


- I felt really good on court. It was the third time I've faced Fujihara in Tokyo and he always raises his game in front of his home crowd. He has had a good run since the World Championships and gave me a hard time today. I did well to stick to the game plan and am pleased to come through it in two close sets, he added.


Read: New heights for Antonsen, Axelsen and Gemke


Moving over to court seven for the semi-final just a few hours later, Bethell faced big-hitting Manoj Sarkar of India, the world number three. Another familiar opponent and a familiar outcome as Bethell went on a run of 15 unanswered points in the first game, and eventually closed out the match 21-7, 21-12. 


- I’ve faced Sarkar a few times this year, I felt really comfortable from the start. Again I set a plan and stuck to it well, so I’m thrilled with the performance, said the Englishman.


- Pramod once again in the final! I haven’t had the best run against him this year but I’m feeling good and feeling fit, and I’m looking forward to that challenge again on Sunday, he said.


- It’s a great venue. The drift and the lights take some getting used to but I’m getting used to it. The hosts have been wonderful and the organisers have been spot on. A real positive event and great crowds. I hope to carry this confidence forward tomorrow and over the next few months into next year, added Bethell.



European quadruple threat


In the all-English SH6 men’s singles semi-final, Krysten Coombs earned a healthy lead in the third game of a tight match against World Champion Jack Shephard, on the ‘bad end’. It was too much to ask of the world number one to come back late in the game and Coombs went on to secure his forth final berth of 2019.


Standing mixed doubles SL3-SU5 sees French pairing Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel through to another international final. Noel had this to say after the semi-final victory against Kumar and Parmar (IND).


- I really like this tournament, it’s the best organisation that we have. It’s a great advantage to take our mark on the Paralympic venue.


- I’m really enjoying the mixed doubles. We have built a strong pairing and it is a pleasure to win. We have already faced and beaten the Turkish opponents this week, but they seem in great form, so we need to keep our concentration.


Mazur will face Siripong Teammarom (THA) in the SL4 men’s singles final tomorrow, becoming the only European to feature in two finals.


 

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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