Daniel Bethell beats Bhagat in the Japan international 2019 final (credit Badminton Photo)
Bethell takes the crown off Bhagat
Date: 11/17/2019 9:35 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

England’s Daniel Bethell stole the limelight at the HULIC DAIHATSU Japan Para Badminton International when he beat world champion Pramod Bhagat of India in the men’s Standing (SL3) singles finals, 21-16 21-19.

- I went in with a good game plan, stuck to it and played a solid game. This win is something I can get off my chest, to beat the world champion. I’m absolutely delighted because he has been my nemesis this year, said Bethell, who has lost the last three times he met Bhagat in a final.

This time however, Bethell was ready for Bhagat who is especially strong when he has to fight back from being down a few points.

- I knew he’d do that so I had to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I was the underdog going into the match and on a half-court it’s easy to make mistakes, unforced errors can decide a match, Bethell told the BWF after the match.

Citing it as a nice enough match, Pramod conceded: 

- I made a lot of mistakes in the first game when it should have been easy for me. In the second, he played really well and I tried to fight back but he’s just at a different level now.

Read: Toma Junior Popov victorious at the Irish Open

Coombs close, and takes silver

Bethell’s team-mate Krysten Coombs was less successful, falling to India’s Krishna Nagar in the men’s Short Stature (SH6) singles finals.

- I just couldn’t get going. I’d be in the right spot and then I’d lose the points, and he’d come back. Like I said before, there are a few of us who are so evenly matched, and you never know how it’s going to go, said Coombs.

Nagar struggled to get into the first game, allowing Coombs to equalise at 18-18 and win 22-20. In the second and third, Nagar seemed to turn on the turbo boosters and won 21-17 21-12.

- It’s a big tournament and an important win because it gives me a chance to play in this venue where the Paralympics will be held next near. I knew I lost the first when he took over and I was very negative in the last few points but I had my coach’s guidance and that gave me the confidence to fight back, said Nagar.

Double gold for Mazur

Lucas Mazur of France goes home with two gold medals, the men’s Standing (SL4) singles and mixed doubles Standing (SL3-SU5) with partner France’s Faustine Noel.

Noel and Mazur overpowered the very determined Turkish pair of Iiker Tuzcu and Halime Yildiz 21-16 21-15, while in the singles Mazur beat Thailand’s Siripong Teammarom, 21-9 21-8.

- There are two parts to being here. To win and to test the conditions in this venue for the Paralympics. We don’t always get the opportunity to play in such a big venue, said Noel.

While it seemed that Tuzcu was holding the fort on his side almost single-handedly, the French pair were more coordinated in their efforts.

- Lucas is always strong and I’m very focused under pressure, so it works. I think I served well today and I usually play well at the net. We are assured of our place at the Paralympics now, so now I can focus my training to work for the medal in Tokyo next year, said Noel.

For all of the Japan Para badminton International 2019 results, see tournament software here.

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