Portugal’s Beatriz Monteiro approach to making it into the semifinal of the 5th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2023 is by carefully planning every step she takes.
“I first have to top my group,” said Monteiro after she defeated Ritah Assimwe (Uganda) in the singles Standing Upper (SU5) group D. She plays Thulasimathi Murugesan of India next.
“She (Murugesan) is actually one of the tougher opponents here, other than Yang Qiuxia (China). But I’m improving and I’m aiming for Paris 2024 Paralympics as well as the world championships. It will be tough next year but I’ve learnt how to plan for each competition carefully and how to achieve what I want with each match,” said the 17 year old who is currently ranked 8th in the world and 7th in the Race to Paris rankings.
“I can only expect tougher matches after today,” said Murugesan after partnering Manasi Girishchandra Joshi (India) to defeat Italy’s Rosa Efomo De Marco and Bulgaria’s Emona Ivanova, 21-8 21-7 in the women’s doubles Standing Lower SL3 – SU5.
Earlier today Murugesan beat Ritah Asiimwe (Uganda) 21-3 21-4 in the SU5 women’s singles, before she and Kumar Nitesh won their mixed doubles SL3-SU5 against Turkey’s Mustafa Tugra Nur and Zehra Biyik, 21-11 21-6.
Murugesan, one of the newbies to the women’s SU5 circle, made waves when she won gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games this year defeating Tokyo2020 champion Yang Qiuxia (China).
“It’s been a good year but I never thought I would get three medals,” said Murugesan who also took the Asian Games silver in the women’s doubles and bronze in the mixed.
“I always tell myself not to be overconfident and underestimate any opponent. I think we’re all quite equal in SU5. My approach is to learn new ways, new tricks to surprise my opponents each time I face them.”
Hong Kong China’s Chu Man Kai is also looking for ways to win gold at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.
“We all want the gold medal. In the SH6 men’s singles, we’re all physically strong but it is the psychological aspect that will set us apart.”
Chu is working on an attitude adjustment, hoping to approach each match with positivity even when down.
“Today I felt like Krysten got anxious after I took the lead. I do too sometimes when I make mistakes but I have told myself to not lose focus. That I must find a way to get back on track and not let the mistakes get to me,” said Chu after he defeated Krysten Coombs of England 21-5 21-13.
“Changing my attitude is one thing but I’m also keeping an eye on the younger ones now like Nattaphong (Meechai) and Miles (Krajewski). It seems like we started out together but they’ll take over soon.”