Badminton’s Paralympic Games debut proved extremely successful and memorable. Here’s a selection of great quotes to come out of the Yoyogi National Stadium from five days of action.
“I wasn’t aware of that so thank you for making me aware.”
Valeska Knoblauch on winning the first ever point and match at the Games.
“Carolina Marin is my idol. She’s had a lot of difficulties and overcame them.”
The 15-year-old Beatriz Monteiro of Portugal on who inspires her.
“Coming here today made me realise, wow, this is Paralympics. It’s finally here.”
Ayako Suzuki after her opening match.
On the first day I always feel as sick as a dog. That’s natural and if I don’t, then something is wrong.”
Martin Rooke on suffering from nerves before opening his campaign.
“I played more for my father, lost him five days ago. I want to do well for him.”
Emine Seckin on why she looked emotional during her first match.
“It’s like one big happy family. Every player is so supportive, doesn’t matter where you’re from or how long you’ve been playing. They all give you that degree of respect. It’s such a wonderful family to be part of. I’ve made so many great friends from different countries.”
Grant Manzoney on the Para badminton community.
“Paralympic Games is different and everything looks perfect. The on-court feeling is also better. I really felt like an able-bodied player at a top tournament.”
Bartlomiej Mroz on playing at the event for the first time.
“I’m disappointed I’ve not gone through but I’m pleased how I turned things around because that’s what I’m going to need for Paris 2024. From what I’ve learnt here, I’m going to be even better next time.”
Pre-tournament favourite Jack Shephard on crashing out of the Paralympics.
“Ever since I started playing Para badminton, I was looking up to Chan and all these years I’ve been preparing to win against him. Today after all the hard work, I was able to show this.”
Daiki Kajiwara after defeating his idol Ho Yuen Chan.
“Everyone tells me this. Maybe I’m Mohamed Salah of badminton. He’s my hero and role model. He’s known world over. I want to be like him too.”
Ahmed Eldakrory on resemblance to footballer and countryman Mohamed Salah.
“I’ve waited 14 years for the Paralympics. I will do my best to get the gold now.”
World No.1 Kim Jungjun after winning his men’s singles WH2 semifinal.
“I didn’t know until 2016 I would play Para badminton professionally. Many times I asked myself if I was doing the right thing because I also have another job. There are moments in life you cherish forever and this is one such moment. Tokyo 2020 will be in my heart forever.”
Suhas Yathiraj on making the men’s singles SL4 final.