It was a good day for some new names on the circuit as the Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 began today in Cartagena.
Czech Republic’s Lukas Kyncl in the men’s singles Wheelchair (WH1) and Spain’s Ruben Nova Fernandez (WH1) were among several new Para badminton players thrilled to be making their international debut at the final Paralympics qualifying event.
Fernandez has only recently turned his efforts into playing Para badminton. The ex-professional footballer for Palma de Mallorca was injured in a motorbike accident in 2020 that meant the end of his football career. His mindset, strength and courage has now seen the athlete make a pivotal change in his professional career to pick up a badminton racket and compete for his nation.
After securing a comfortable 21-12 21-10 victory over Kyncl in the opening round of Group A, Fernandez said: “It’s my first international match, I’ve just been classified. I was very nervous as it was my first match, I’m very happy with the win. When the match started I didn’t know how I was going to play. I tried to have fun today, but I know the next round will be more difficult because I’ll be playing against more experienced players. I’m a new player who hasn’t had that much practice but I’m so happy to be here.”
Kyncl from the Czech Republic also debuted at the Para badminton international event with a grateful heart and spirit. Speaking after losing his first round match to Fernandez, he said: “It’s a nice tournament. I’m here for the first time, to gain some experience and it’s well organised. I have to train a lot more to get better. I would like to be the best player I can be.”
The Russian convincingly overcame Ferreira 21-9 21-11 citing nerves at attending her first international event.
“It’s my first international tournament and I worried I wasn’t playing well but I’m happy. I was certainly nervous in my body. To represent my country is my pleasure,” Zhuravskaia said.
“My coaches’ tactics helped me push my opponent to the net a lot. I think I am the same level as Ferreria. I know she’s made her international debut today but it was just unlucky for her today,” added Zhurasvskaia.
Opponent Inoi Ferreira also cited nerves at her debut: “I was very nervous and I was afraid of being down in the first game so it was difficult to start. I’m excited to play and represent Portugal at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 in this category. To be here with the rest of the team is so great,” revealed Ferreira.
You can catch all the action at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 right here.