Japan’s Noriko Ito upset top seed Manasi Girishchandra Joshi on the opening day of the Australia Para-Badminton International 2018 today in Geelong.
Ito beat Joshi 14-21 21-14 21-12 in the Women’s Singles Standing Lower (SL 3) Group A match. She followed up with a victory over Australia’s Celine Aurelie Vinot 21-10 21-13 to top the three-person group.
Home player Vinot paired up with James Binnie (England) in the Mixed Doubles SL3 – SU5, winning their first match against Phonexay Kinnovong/Zashka Gunson, 21-5 21-12. However, they lost their next two matches, to Indonesia’s Dwiyoko/Dwiyoko and India’s Sukant Kadam/Manashi Girishchandra Joshi.
Gunson, at 12 years old, was playing in her first international para-badminton tournament.
“For me this event is very nerve-racking because I’ve never really played internationally… but it was good to have doubles as my first game as I wasn’t alone,” said Gunson.
Top seeds in the Mixed Doubles SL3 – SU5, Toshiaki Suenaga and Akiko Sugino (Japan) lived up to their seeding, comfortably securing two wins to top Group A.
“We had an advantage as it was the first time our opponents were playing together. We played the game tactically but we know we will have to change up our approach in the upcoming matches as we come up against other established pairs,” said Toshiaki after beating India’s Anand Kumar Boregowda and Australia’s Caitlin Dransfield 21-10 21-12.
New Zealand’s Corrie Keith Robinson, competing in the Men’s Singles Standing Lower (SL 4), showed grit and determination on court as he faced the top seed from India, Sukant Kadam. The Kiwi eventually lost in three games – 13-21 21-14 21-15 – and later competed in another three-game thriller against En-Chuan Yeh of Chinese Taipei, going down 19-21 21-16 21-12.
“I had some really great matches today with a close game against the top seed. I’m starting to creep into three games against the top players which is promising, and I hope to continue with these tournaments in the hope of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” said Robinson.
David Toupe and Emmanuelle Ott finished on top of Group C in Mixed Doubles WH 1 – WH 2 after beating the third seeds from South Korea, Kim Jungjun/Kim Seung Suk, and Japan’s Atsuya Watanabe/Ikume Fuke.
“We beat the third seeds which is the best result we could have hoped for,” said Toupe (featured image).