Peru’s Pilar Jauregui rolled her way to the top of the women’s singles WH1 podium after surviving a rollercoaster of emotions in her final against Turkiye’s Emine Seckin at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.
Jauregui had match point in the second game but Seckin took advantage of her opponent’s nerves to push it to a decider. The 34-year-old Jauregui was able to steel herself though and closed out the contest in three games 21-18 20-22 21-17.
She later added silver in the mixed doubles WH1-WH2 category alongside Yuri Ferrigno of Italy. Jauregui called her singles tussle an extremely tough match to conquer but said she was able to find her mojo at the right time.
“I just tried to forget what happened in the second game and focus on the next,” she said. “I had to just take it point by point.”
Originally a wheelchair basketball player, Jauregui didn’t initially take a shine for badminton when she was introduced to it. But seeing the women she was competing against in her category inspired her to persist.
“I only started liking badminton because of the energy that it needed, the technique and the tactics involved,” she said. “Being able to play some of the best players in my category has been a great inspiration, especially Yuma Yamazaki of Japan.”
Speaking of Yamazaki, she and Sarina Satomi won women’s doubles gold with a 21-11 21-15 victory over Seckin and Man-To Kei of Belgium. It was double delight for Satomi who added to the Paralympics Games success with another title, defeating Cynthia Mathez of Switzerland 21-9 21-10.
Choi Jungman of South Korea was another to rejoice as he overcame compatriot Jeong Jaegun of South Korea 21-9 21-17 for his first World Championships gold, and added another with mixed doubles partner Lee Sun Ae.
Daiki Kajiwara indicated yet again he will be dominating men’s singles WH2 for years to come with a repeat of last year’s Paralympic Games gold medal final victory over multiple champion Kim Jung Jun of Korea.
Despite the 21-21 21-11 win, Kajiwara remained modest about his recent achievements.
“I know that I have won here and at some other places in the past, and I feel I am strong,” he said.
“But until the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024, I will consider myself to be the challenger.”
Rick Cornell Hellmann helped make it a birthday to remember for Thomas Wandschneider as the pair clinched the men’s double WH1-2 gold in straight games, to make Wandschneider the oldest badminton or Para badminton world champion in history.
WHAT OTHERS SAID
On winning men’s doubles WH1-WH2 gold at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2022.
On the absence of Team China.
On the changing of the guard in men’s singles WH2 badminton.
On his doubles partner Lee Sun Ae.