After an impressive first day at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Ulsan, Korea for two-times World and European Champion Niall McVeigh has recorded two straight sets wins in the Short Stature 6 class which leaves him one match away from the quarter-final against Chun Yim Wong.
Having beaten Man Kai Chu on the opening day 22-20 in the deciding set, the No 5/6 seed ended the hopes of Hsiao-Yuan Hsiung 21-5 21-17 and was obviously benefitting from having arrived at the Donchun Gymnasium some five days before the competition got underway, acquainting himself with the conditions and drift in the hall.
On Day 2 he was to also take only twenty minutes to knock out Mark Joseph Dharmai (India) 21-14 21-12 which now leaves Guangliang Luo (China) preventing him from a likely quarter-final clash against Hong Kong’s Chun Yim Wong.
Niall from Poyntzpass has also progressed through to the quarter-final in the Mixed Doubles with his Peruvian partner Carmen Guiliana Poveda Flores where they recorded a straight sets victory over Mark Joseph Dharmai and Maria Bartusz and now face Fabien Morat/Rebecca Bedford for a place in the final.
Laura Lee Jenkins finished just outside the top two in the Mixed Doubles Wheelchair 1-2 category with her partner Abu Hubaida (India) despite a fine 21-18 14-21 21-9 victory over Christian Hamboeck/Cynthia Mathez who made it through to Round 1 of the main draw at their expense.
It must have been heartbreaking to realise that they had just missed out on what would have given them a runner-up position in Group I when they lost 21-13 16-21 20-22 to Yuri Stepanov/Irina Kuzmenko, though the No 9/10 seeds Hiroshi Murayama/Rie Ogura finished top of the group progressed out of the group and were straight set winners over Laura Lee Jenkins and Abu Hubaida.
It was always going to be difficult to get out of the group in the Women’s Singles with No2 seed Ok Cha Son but there was a shock when China’s Hongyan Li recorded a 21-10 21-2 victory over the No2 seed.
However Laura will be teaming up with Scotland’s Fiona Christie in the Women’s Doubles and whilst they face No2 seeds Ikumi Fuke and Yuma Yamazaki they will be looking for two good performances.
Emma Farnham recorded a fine straight sets victory in her Women’s Singles SS6 clash against Simone Emillie Meyer Larsen (Denmark) though in the opening set she had to stave off a late challenge from the young Dane but sealed it 21-19 with three game points. The second set saw the Alpha player race through to victory 21-9 to finish in runner-up position in the group.
Tomorrow s a busy day for Emma as she has three matches in the Women’s Doubles and will be hoping that as No2 seeds she and her partner Maria Bartusz can realise their No2 seeding.
Chris Stewart had a relatively early start today but was to go one set up against Stephen Durand (France) taking the first set 21-16 but survived a burst from his opponent to win the second 24-22 in the Men’s Singles Wheelchair 1 group C.
Piece by Brian Kelly.
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