Fujihara Aims for Home Win – Japan Para Badminton International 2019

Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara made up for his loss on Wednesday to Mongkhon Bunsun of Thailand when he defeated India’s Nitesh Kumar 21-19 21-15 to place second in his men’s singles Standing Lower (SL3) group at the HULIC DAIHATSU Japan Para Badminton International 2019 at the Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo.

“When I lost yesterday I was very disappointed. So last night I changed my mind and decided I will fight stronger and faster to win,” said Fujihara.

The 25 year old is determined to repeat his 2017 winning performance when he defeated Daniel Bethell of England, and is banking on home crowd support.

Nilsson is on a bumpy road to Tokyo 2020.

“I want to play here in the finals because this is my country and there will be a lot of Japanese people coming to watch and I want to play in front of them. My family will be coming on Saturday.”

His plan, however, is to take it one match at a time, aware that he will be going up against last year’s winner Bethell and world champion India’s Pramod Bhagat. “It’s a tough tournament and I’ll try to reach the round of 16 first,” he said.

Match of the Day

When Rickard Nilsson of Sweden fell to Russia’s Pavel Kulikov in his first men’s singles Standing Lower (SL4) match on Wednesday, he knew what needed to be fixed and came back strong today to win against Japan’s Kaito Nakamura, 21-14 18-21 21-12.

“Yesterday, I needed to keep the length in my lifts because he’s (Kulikov) a good attacking player, but I couldn’t, and that’s why I lost,” said Nilsson.

Against Nakamura, Nilsson started well, taking the first game 21-14. He led in the second until Nakamura equalised at 15-15 and went on to win 21-18.

“It wasn’t an easy match. I think he got an energy boost in the second game, maybe from the cheering crowds. I was a bit shaken when he took the last few points to win the second but overall, I felt comfortable with my game and in the surroundings as well,” said Nilsson, after finishing 21-12 for the win.

“In this group it ca n go either way because we’re all evenly matched.”

Nilsson, who is currently tenth in the Road to Tokyo rankings, will be looking to pick up more qualification points to secure his place for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

“That means making it to semifinals or at least quarterfinals here and in future tournaments. I’ll need to be in the top six at least to be safe.”

Unfortunately, he lost to Gao Yuyang of China 14-21 21-19 21-14 later in the day.

Rosengren puts herself to the test.

Rosengren Back in Action

Slowed down by a knee injury since the TOTAL BWF Para Badminton World Championships in August this year, Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren took some time out to recover, missing the Denmark Para Badminton International and conceding a walkover in the quarterfinals of the China Para Badminton International 2019.

“In China, I just didn’t think I could have done my best against those top players and it’s a bit sad to miss Denmark which is my home tournament but I had to do that to be able to play here. I needed to rest and it’s worked because the swelling has gone and I’m feeling good,” said Rosengren after defeating Indonesia’s Putu Christian 21-12 21-8 in the women’s singles Standing Upper (SU5) group match.

Her ultimate goal, however, will be to play and defeat China’s Yang Qiuxia and Ayako Suzuki of Japan, both of whom have had the upper hand over Rosengren this year.

“I don’t know how I’ll fare but I plan to go for it and put some pressure on my knee to see how it holds up,” she said, in reference to the cartilage injury that was the cause for her swollen knee and limited mobility the last few months.

Other Results

Karin Suter-Erath of Switzerland defeated Japan’s Ikumi Fuke, 18-21 21-18 21-15, in her women’s singles Wheelchair (WH1) group match. She and WH1-2 partner Cynthia Mathez later lost to Japan’s Yuma Yamazaki and Sarina Satomi 21-10 21-10 in women’s doubles.

Another Japanese women’s pair, Ikumi Fuke/Ria Ogura, triumphed against Pilar Jauregui Cancino of Peru and Germany’s Valeska Knoblauch, 21-19 10-21 21-15.

Atsuya Watanabe of Japan defeated England’s third/fourth seed Martin Rooke 21-18 21-19 in the men’s singles WH2.

Men’s singles SU5 World Championships silver medallist Suryo Nugroho of Indonesia beat Fang Jen-yu of Chinese Taipei, 21-14 21-13.

Quote of the Day

“I’m feeling good but I think the real tournament for me will start from the quarterfinals when I have to face the higher-level players. I haven’t taken risks in the last few matches and from now I’ll focus on my condition so I can perform at my best.” – Shin Kyung Hwan of Korea.

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