Home favourite and top seed Daiki Kajiwara of Japan made short work of his opening Group A men’s singles wheelchair WH2 match to kickstart his bid for the HULIC DAIHATSU BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022.
Kajiwara won 21-3 21-5 against Australia’s Grant Manzoney after he and partner Hiroshi Murayama earlier won their Group D men’s doubles WH1-WH2 contest over Brazil’s Marcelo Alves Conceicao and Julio Cesar Godoy.
Kajiwara was one of the many favourites who made winning starts to their BWF Para Badminton World Championships campaign on the opening day at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, venue for Kajiwara’s Paralympic gold medal last year.
South Korea’s Kim Jung Jun, defending champion in the men’s singles WH2 from three years ago, made a winning start to his title defence breezing past Indonesia’s Wiwin Andri 21-15 21-10.
In the women’s wheelchair contests, second seed Cynthia Mathez of Switzerland followed the form book defeating Canada’s Yuka Chokyu 21-3 21-9 in women’s singles WH1, before returning to the courts to take their women’s doubles WH1-WH2 clash against India with her partner Ilaria Renggli.
“It is a very good feeling to come back here after the Paralympics. In fact, it almost feels like home,” Mathez said after her singles victory.
“I’m always happy to come back to Japan. There were no spectators at the Paralympics last year, but I was so focused on my game and myself that I didn’t even notice. I’m in my own bubble when I play and I have my coach, and that’s all that I see.”
In the standing events, India’s strong field of players across classifications made impressive starts. Krishna Nagar, Paralympic champion in Tokyo 14 months ago, marked his return from injury with a hard-fought 17-21 21-16, 21-17 win over USA’s Miles Krajewski in men’s singles SH6
“It feels great to be back. After eight months, I have come back to the court and today’s game was very good. I was quite impressed with how Krajewski played. In fact I even told him that he has gained in height and had a lot more power in his shots today,” Nagar said.
The women’s SH6 competition saw the only upset of the day, with former champion Rachel Choong of England losing to Indonesia’s Rina Marlina 10-21 6-21. However, Choong won both her SH6 mixed doubles contests partnering Jack Shephard.
— BWF (@bwfmedia) November 1, 2022
WHAT OTHERS SAID:
On her goals at the Para Badminton World Championships 2022
On returning after a long break due to injury
On playing his first match at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships
On returning to the Yoyogi National Stadium