To Man-Kei at the World Championships 2019 (credit Badminton Photo)
To Man-Kei finds form in Peru
Date: 2/20/2020 10:16 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Belgium’s Para badminton success lays solely in the hands of this female WH1 athlete, but has this peak in her career come too late?

To Man-Kei was Belgium’s only representation at last year’s World Championships. A recent peak in form has her making the headlines, but with Paralympic qualification nearly complete, it begs the question why the 34 year old is suddenly defeating some of the world’s best.

The best results over the last twelve months include quarterfinal appearances in Thailand, Canada and Dubai for the Belgian. 

A comparison, to put things into context against Europe’s top female WH1 player, To Man-Kei had a head-to-head record of zero wins and seven losses to Germany’s Valeska Knoblauch until last week in Brazil, and only once has To managed to even take a single game off the European Champion.

Last week, To Man-Kei beat Knoblauch in Brazil and went on to claim a bronze medal in WH1 women’s singles, and also picked up a silver in women’s doubles with Turkey’s Emine Seckin.

Read: Seeds fall early in Spain

Paralympic qualification

This week the Belgian woman has carried that form into Peru where she has defeated Korea’s Kang Jung Kum, and now looks favourite to top group D and take the third seed’s spot in the draw for the knockouts.

To has also paired up again with Seckin and defeated Knoblauch and Peruvian partner Pilar Jaurequi Cancino in the WH1-2 women’s doubles, and they look like the favourites to take the title if things go to plan this week.

Once the dust has settled in Peru, there will be one tournament left to qualify for this summer’s Games. The Race to Tokyo comes to an end in Spain, 10-15 March. 

To Man-Kei lays ninth in the world rankings, and is knocking on the door of a place in the women’s singles with these kind of performances. 

Keep an eye out for her results this week and in Spain, it will be interesting to see how close this athlete comes to making it to Tokyo this year.

Look out for updates from the Peru Para badminton International 2020 this week, see tournament software here for draws and results. 

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