Megan Hollander in World Championships 2019 action (credit Badminton Photo)
Dubai welcomes Para badminton after a 12 month break
Date: 3/29/2021 7:02 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

This week sees the return of Para badminton to the calendar after a yearlong absence due to the Covid pandemic. 

The event will undoubtedly be under-populated due to the effect that the global pandemic is still having on many countries around the world. If all the entries manage to get to Dubai successfully, we should see 151 competitors grace the courts of the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club over the next six days.

The last Para badminton tournament, before Covid-19 restrictions shook the world, took place in Peru during February 2020. The following month should have seen the final Paralympic qualifying tournament happen in Murcia, Spain which would have confirmed ranking positions for Tokyo 2020. The event was postponed and will finally take place in May 2021.

So although the Dubai 2021 International holds no Paralympic ranking points, it does count toward all players world rankings which can affect seeding positions at the Paralympic Games.

‘I quit badminton, because of the Pandemic’

We caught up with SU5 women’s singles hopeful Megan Hollander this week, to ask about this past year and her hopes for the future. The Dutch player took a step back from badminton last Spring due to the pressure of the global situation leading to a postponement of The Games. She had this to say,

- Preparations have been tough, I had a rough 12 months to be honest. After I heard that the Paralympics in 2020 were going to be postponed or maybe even cancelled, I said to myself and my coach that I didn’t want to compete anymore.

- I left the National Training Center and moved back to my home town. I didn’t play badminton for six months and have only started training again since November. I am happy to be back although our aims are now more on my terms. I am having a lot more fun on court than I was having one year ago, she added

Read: Vantaa to host the 2022 Badminton European Championships

With no tournaments throughout the last year Hollander is still ranked seventh in the Race to Tokyo list and now aiming to secure a place at the Paralympic Games. 

- It does mean that I haven’t trained as much as I really need to, but I have trained as much as I wanted to! That’s important to me. So I don’t train ten times a week anymore, it is more like four-five times, but I am finally having fun being on court again, said the Dutch player

- I am looking forward to this week, and to the final qualifying tournament for the Paralympic Games, in Spain next month, they will be a good test and if I play well then I might be going to the Paralympics. That’s something I really want to do, something I’m aiming for, added Hollander

Follow the 3rd Fazza Dubai Para badminton international tournament here this week and across our usual platforms. The schedule and results can be found on tournament software here

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