Spanish Para: Bolaji Claims First Title in Style

Finals day at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 began with a wave of excitement and trepidation as the players took their places on the badminton court. It was a culmination of a week that has seen an incredible 157 players from 36 countries.

A first for Nigeria

Bolaji celebrates with coach Daniel Sarki.

A successful candidate on the BWF Female Grant programme, Mariam Eniola Bolaji from Nigeria, made her debut at her first-ever Para badminton tournament this week in the women’s singles Standing Lower (SL3) category. An impressive Bolaji stunned Ukraine’s Oksana Kozyna to claim her first title in the final on Sunday.

The first-timer put on a blistering performance over experienced Kozyna to win not just her first title, but the first Para badminton title for Africa outside the continent.

“I dedicate this title to my late coach, Bello Rafiu Oyebanji,” smiled an exhausted Bolaji.

After losing to Kozyna in the group stage, Bolaji sought to extract revenge on the skilful player.

“I was remembering everything my opponent did to win points so that when I came back, I could win. I didn’t think I could do it. I’m so grateful. I am going to celebrate big when I get back to Nigeria. I have made Africans proud of me,” exclaimed Bolaji.

Triple threat

France’s Lucas Mazur set himself up for a bumper of a day with places in three finals for men’s singles, mixed doubles and men’s doubles.

Starting the day with mixed doubles partner Faustine Noel (SL3 -SU5), Mazur clinched his first title of the day winning 21-12 21-8 over Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiki Sugino.

Later in the day, Mazur faced Russia’s Pavel Kulikov in the men’s singles (SL4) final. Mazur was electrifying, knocking out lengthy rallies and putting the shuttlecock in hard-to-reach places for the Russian.

Lucas Mazur claimed three titles on the final day.

Winning 21-13 21-8, the Frenchman picked up his second title of the day.

“I feel so proud to win this title in Spain. I feel very happy. My opponent is getting better but I’m feeling good and a little tired after two matches today,” said Mazur.

Mazur has secured his ticket to Tokyo and the Frenchman says the goal is gold for him: “I’m so happy to represent France, it’s a honour and a pleasure. I’m not going to the Paralympics for the photos, I’m going for the title,” added Mazur.

Leading Lady

Norway’s sole flag bearer at the event, Helle Sofie Sagoy, comfortably claimed gold today in the women’s singles Standing Lower (SL4) over Japan’s Haruka Fujino 21-8 21-7.

Norwegian Sagoy sealed her ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“This title means a lot to me. It’s shown me how far I’ve come. All the training has paid off and I can see that I’m in great shape,” Sagoy said.

Confirming her place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, she added: “Wow, this is fantastic. I’m going to Tokyo! It’s so cool to show this sport to the world because Para badminton makes its debut. I can’t wait.”

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Marin-Sindhu Battle for History – Women’s Singles Semi-finals: Rio 2016

18 August 2016
Golden Day for Indonesia – Mixed Doubles Final: Rio 2016

Golden Day for Indonesia – Mixed Doubles Final: Rio 2016

17 August 2016
Lin Survives; Lee Cruises  – Day 7 – Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals: Rio 2016

Lin Survives; Lee Cruises – Day 7 – Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals: Rio...

17 August 2016
Sindhu Sizzles into Semis – Day 6 Session 2: Rio 2016

Sindhu Sizzles into Semis – Day 6 Session 2: Rio 2016

17 August 2016
History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

16 August 2016
China’s Doubles Giants Humbled – Day 5 Session 2: Rio 2016

China’s Doubles Giants Humbled – Day 5 Session 2: Rio 2016

15 August 2016
Fu/Zhang Ride Out Storm – Day 5 Session 1: Rio 2016

Fu/Zhang Ride Out Storm – Day 5 Session 1: Rio 2016

15 August 2016
Jorgensen Chugs On – Day 4 Session 2: Rio 2016

Jorgensen Chugs On – Day 4 Session 2: Rio 2016

15 August 2016
Quarter-Finals Drawing Attention – Rio 2016

Quarter-Finals Drawing Attention – Rio 2016

15 August 2016
Chan/Goh in Semi-finals – Day 4 Session 3: Rio 2016

Chan/Goh in Semi-finals – Day 4 Session 3: Rio 2016

14 August 2016
Nehwal Falls to Ulitina – Day 4 Session 1: Rio 2016

Nehwal Falls to Ulitina – Day 4 Session 1: Rio 2016

14 August 2016
Brazil Badminton Grabs Spotlight

Brazil Badminton Grabs Spotlight

14 August 2016
Evans Shakes Off Oliveira – Day 3 Session 3: Rio 2016

Evans Shakes Off Oliveira – Day 3 Session 3: Rio 2016

13 August 2016
Ellis/Langridge Through – Day 3 Session 2: Rio 2016

Ellis/Langridge Through – Day 3 Session 2: Rio 2016

13 August 2016
World Champs Out – Day 3 Session 1: Rio 2016

World Champs Out – Day 3 Session 1: Rio 2016

13 August 2016
Koreans Double Their Account – Day 2 Session 3: Rio 2016

Koreans Double Their Account – Day 2 Session 3: Rio 2016

12 August 2016
Ivanov/Sozonov in Quarters – Day 2 Session 2: Rio 2016

Ivanov/Sozonov in Quarters – Day 2 Session 2: Rio 2016

12 August 2016
Mixed Doubles Drama in Group B – Day 2 Session 1: Rio 2016

Mixed Doubles Drama in Group B – Day 2 Session 1: Rio...

12 August 2016
Cordon Falls to Dziolko – Day 1 Session 3: Rio 2016

Cordon Falls to Dziolko – Day 1 Session 3: Rio 2016

12 August 2016
Xu/Ma Stage Escape – Day 1 Session 2: Rio 2016

Xu/Ma Stage Escape – Day 1 Session 2: Rio 2016

12 August 2016
Endo/Hayakawa Clinch Thriller: Day 1 Session 1 – Rio 2016

Endo/Hayakawa Clinch Thriller: Day 1 Session 1 – Rio 2016

12 August 2016
Double Duty in Rio!

Double Duty in Rio!

11 August 2016
Top Guns Ready to Fire

Top Guns Ready to Fire

11 August 2016
Under No Illusions

Under No Illusions

10 August 2016
Danes Hope to Capitalise on Strong Season

Danes Hope to Capitalise on Strong Season

10 August 2016
A New Carolina, Says Rivas

A New Carolina, Says Rivas

9 August 2016
Fifth Olympic Salvo for Mateusiak

Fifth Olympic Salvo for Mateusiak

8 August 2016
Savouring the Olympic Flavour

Savouring the Olympic Flavour

6 August 2016
Singles Preview: The Promise of Epic Battles

Singles Preview: The Promise of Epic Battles

6 August 2016
A First for Flag-Bearer Lee

A First for Flag-Bearer Lee

4 August 2016
Zhang/Zhao the Opening Act

Zhang/Zhao the Opening Act

3 August 2016
Doubles Preview: Group Surprises Lurk for the Unwary

Doubles Preview: Group Surprises Lurk for the Unwary

1 August 2016
Rio Countdown: Aussies Living a Dream

Rio Countdown: Aussies Living a Dream

29 July 2016
‘One Match at a Time’

‘One Match at a Time’

28 July 2016
Olympic Channel Launch on August 21

Olympic Channel Launch on August 21

28 July 2016
Rio Countdown: Ygor Oliveira’s Samba Secret

Rio Countdown: Ygor Oliveira’s Samba Secret

28 July 2016
Rio Countdown: Dutch Duo Seek to Re-create Magic

Rio Countdown: Dutch Duo Seek to Re-create Magic

27 July 2016
Contenders Brace for Hard Battles

Contenders Brace for Hard Battles

27 July 2016
Possible Lee-Lin ‘Semis’ Showdown

Possible Lee-Lin ‘Semis’ Showdown

27 July 2016
Rio Countdown: Australian Duo Look to Make Impact

Rio Countdown: Australian Duo Look to Make Impact

26 July 2016
Rio Countdown: Chou Riding High on Confidence

Rio Countdown: Chou Riding High on Confidence

25 July 2016
Mechanics of the Olympic Draw

Mechanics of the Olympic Draw

22 July 2016
Lee, Marin Lead Seedings

Lee, Marin Lead Seedings

21 July 2016
No Rio Repeat for Olympic Champs

No Rio Repeat for Olympic Champs

19 July 2016
BWF Launches Olympic Website

BWF Launches Olympic Website

11 July 2016
Mexico Completes Olympic List

Mexico Completes Olympic List

5 July 2016
Australia Make Rio Picks

Australia Make Rio Picks

10 June 2016
Badminton to Feature in Olympic Channel Programming

Badminton to Feature in Olympic Channel Programming

7 June 2016
Trio Get Rio 2016 Tripartite Places

Trio Get Rio 2016 Tripartite Places

25 May 2016
Provisional List of Olympic Qualifiers Published

Provisional List of Olympic Qualifiers Published

5 May 2016
Continental Championships: The Home Stretch to Rio Begins

Continental Championships: The Home Stretch to Rio Begins

24 April 2016
Calmer, Tougher Intanon Believes She Can Get Better

Calmer, Tougher Intanon Believes She Can Get Better

19 April 2016
Ygor Oliveira’s Samba Secret

Ygor Oliveira’s Samba Secret

8 April 2016
Liang Xiaoyu Sniffs Olympics Chance

Liang Xiaoyu Sniffs Olympics Chance

15 March 2016
Yonex All England – The 2016 Superseries Season is Here!

Yonex All England – The 2016 Superseries Season is Here!

6 March 2016
Labar and Lefel Seek Superseries Push

Labar and Lefel Seek Superseries Push

4 March 2016
Intanon Ready for Battles Ahead

Intanon Ready for Battles Ahead

2 March 2016
Identical Twins, Dual Personalities

Identical Twins, Dual Personalities

24 February 2016
Ahmad/ Natsir Confident of Shaking Off Slump

Ahmad/ Natsir Confident of Shaking Off Slump

16 February 2016
Wang Backs Herself with Rio on Horizon

Wang Backs Herself with Rio on Horizon

5 February 2016
My Family is My Inspiration: Joachim Fischer Nielsen

My Family is My Inspiration: Joachim Fischer Nielsen

22 January 2016
Race to Rio: Close Call for Doubles Contenders

Race to Rio: Close Call for Doubles Contenders

18 January 2016
Race to Rio: Chen Leads, Lee Close Behind

Race to Rio: Chen Leads, Lee Close Behind

14 January 2016
Special Olympics Embrace BWF Shuttle Time

Special Olympics Embrace BWF Shuttle Time

26 October 2015
BWF Agrees New Tokyo 2020 Venue

BWF Agrees New Tokyo 2020 Venue

9 June 2015
Høyer: Innovation and Integrity Key Ingredients

Høyer: Innovation and Integrity Key Ingredients

16 May 2015
Rio 2016: The Race Begins

Rio 2016: The Race Begins

4 May 2015
Singles Maximum Reduced for Rio 2016

Singles Maximum Reduced for Rio 2016

11 February 2014
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s Faith with Gold

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s Gain

London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei in Golden Showdown

London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong...

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Women’s Singles Semis: Wang Yihan Routs Nehwal

London 2012: Day 7 – Women’s Singles Semis: Wang Yihan Routs Nehwal

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in Semi-finals

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to Ratchanok

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to...

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

1 August 2012
London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

1 August 2012
London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

1 August 2012
London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to ‘Double Up’

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to...

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for Sri Lankan Flag Bearer

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for...

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale to Careers

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the London Olympics

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 3: Australians’ Fighting Spirit to the Fore

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 3: Australians’ Fighting Spirit to the...

28 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

28 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

28 July 2012
London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone else’

London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone...

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

27 July 2012
London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

26 July 2012
London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For  Sir Craig Reedie

London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For Sir Craig Reedie

26 July 2012
London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

26 July 2012
London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

26 July 2012
Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

25 July 2012
London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

24 July 2012
London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

23 July 2012
London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

19 July 2012
London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

16 July 2012
London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

15 July 2012
London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior leads country

London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior...

12 July 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

10 July 2012
London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

29 June 2012
Beijing 2008 – Lin’s Dan It!

Beijing 2008 – Lin’s Dan It!

18 August 2008
Beijing 2008: Indonesian Tradition Continues

Beijing 2008: Indonesian Tradition Continues

17 August 2008
WD Gold for China; Lin Dan-Chong Wei in Dream Final

WD Gold for China; Lin Dan-Chong Wei in Dream Final

16 August 2008
Zhang Ning delivers 2nd gold for China

Zhang Ning delivers 2nd gold for China

16 August 2008