Years of wait to see badminton at the Paralympic Games ended when Valeska Knoblauch hit the very first shuttle to German compatriot Elke Rongen at the Yoyogi National Stadium on 1 September.
That was just one of many interesting occurrences at Tokyo 2020. Here’s more…
- At her third Paralympics, Switzerland’s Karin Suter-Erath debuted in badminton, having competed in wheelchair tennis twice (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008).
- Host nation Japan had the most players – 13.
- Portugal’s Beatriz Monteiro, at 15, was the youngest.
- 42 years her senior, Germany’s Thomas Wandschneider was the oldest at 57.
- The men’s singles WH1 semifinal between Koreans Lee Dong Seop and Lee Sam Seop was the longest match, taking 70 minutes to finish.
- The shortest on the other hand, was over in 12 minutes when Thai player Saensupa Nipada retired in her women’s singles SL4 group match against China’s Ma Huihui.
- Of the 28 National Paralympic Committees that participated, 10 finished with at least a medal.
- China were the most successful, bagging five gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
- France were the only European nation to produce a Paralympic gold medallist – Lucas Mazur in men’s singles SL4.
- Nine reigning world champions also emerged winners in their categories – Mazur, Qu Zimo, Pramod Bhagat, Sarina Satomi, Liu Yutong, Yang Qiuxia in singles events and Qu/Mai Jianpeng and Hary Susanto/Leani Ratri Oktila in doubles.
- Men’s singles WH2 winner Daiki Kajiwara was the only unseeded player to win gold.
- Hong Kong China had the highest success rate (100 per cent), with both their representatives winning a medal (Man Kai Chu – silver, Ho Yuen Chan – bronze).
- Susanto, who won the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 final alongside Oktila, was the oldest gold medallist at 46 years of age.
- Oktila also left Tokyo with the most medals – three (gold in women and mixed doubles SL3-SU5 and silver in women’s singles SL4).
Standout Stat: Indonesia won the first (Suryo Nugroho, men’s singles SU5 bronze) and last medal of the Games (Susanto/Oktila, mixed doubles SL3-SU5 gold).