Spanish Para: ‘Anyone’s Playing Field’

“It’s anyone’s playing field,” were the striking words of a delighted Jayci Simon (SH6) post an 18-21 26-24 21-16 women’s singles win over 10-time world champion Rachel Choong. Her first victory in three attempts at Spanish Para Badminton International 2023 helped the American seal a ticket to the semifinals.

Miles Krajewskii and Simon had earlier lost 13-21 10-21 to Jack Shephard/Choong in mixed doubles. Asked whether she used any knowledge from the match, Simon said: “Rachel’s ranked pretty high, I just had to play point by point and that’s what got me the victory. The goal coming into the tournament was to progress beyond the round of 16. I knew all the best athletes would be here and it would be difficult, but it’s about scoring points for Paris 2024.”

Standing in her way to the final is Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan. This will be their first meeting.

Simon (right) lost her mixed doubles quarterfinal to Choong.

Point at a Time

The surprise of the day saw two-time SH6 men’s singles world champion Jack Shepard downed by Natthapong Meechai 21-13 21-19.

The men’s doubles gold medallist from last year’s Para Badminton World Championships said post match: “I was thinking about doing it one point at a time.”

Meechai’s next big test is against Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist Krysten Coombs, who has been on form in Spain.

Meechai in action.

Arranguiz Spices Things Up

Chile’s Jaime Aranguiz (WH2) emerged victorious against three-time gold medallist Matsumoto Takumi 16-21 21-13 21-19 to bag himself a quarterfinal place. The triumph avenges his final loss to the Japanese at Peru Para Badminton International 2022.

“It was difficult, but the hours of training have paid off. Matsumoto is a great rival and beating him is very gratifying. My goal this year is to raise my ranking and strategically seek a place at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. I’d also like to become the Pan Am champion.”

Colourful character Arranguiz faces silver medallist Kim Jungjun in the next round.

Results (Day 5)

Order of play (Day 6)

Arranguiz sports a cool hair to match his moves on court.

 

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