Dubai Para: ‘My Shots Were Perfect’

Nigeria’s Mariam Eniola Bolaji’s defeated India’s Mandeep Kaur 21-16 21-17 to move into the women’s singles Standing Lower SL3 quarterfinals at the 5th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2023.

“This is a big deal. I’m always waiting to play all these top players and today my shots were all perfect,” said Bolaji, 18.

With support from the Nigerian Badminton Association, Bolaji has been training in Spain under coach Dina Mita for the last three weeks.

“I am confident of my abilities and I can now showcase all my skills, all my perfect shots.”

Nnanna eyes the competition.

Teammate Chigozie Jeremiah Nnanna was equally please with his performance, even after losing 8-21 21-17 11-21 to SL4 men’s singles World No.3 Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj (India).

“It was so tough but I took one game off him. I avoided net play because I know he’s good at that and I pushed the shuttle to the back a lot. I like to play long rallies and limit smashing although I’m good at it.”

Nnanna, 23, credits the late coach Bello Rafiu Oyebanji for getting him started in this sport.

“I’m watching everyone, learning everything I can here. And I’m waiting to play Lucas Mazur (France) one day because I think he’s the best in SL4.”

Shin fights the effects of ageing.

Korea’s Indian Hurdle

Korea’s Shin Kyung Hwan and Joo Dongjae claim that the Indians are their obstacle in the men’s SL4 and SL3 singles and doubles categories.

“It’s been a struggle to move higher up the rankings. My plan is to reach the top eight but I’m getting older and my body is exhausted. I have to rely more on mind games against my opponents,” said Shin, 36, currently 13th in the world and Race to Paris rankings.

Shin, who lost 21-23 19-21 14-21 in the group round to Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan, said: “Suhas (Yathiraj) has this sense of timing that is different to others and it’s very difficult to read his game.”

Joo assesses India’s success.

In Joo’s case, it is Kumar Nitesh (India).

“I am not looking forward to playing him. He’s unpredictable and I just cannot seem to win. It’s some sort of mental block. Don’t know why but I can’t seem to get over it,” said Joo.

Shin and Kwan also play the men’s doubles SL3-SL4, which is not being featured in the Paris 2024 Paralympics but will be contested in the world championships in March next year.

“We now have to figure out how to beat India,” said Shin.

Joo, who defeated Oleksandr Chyrkov (Ukraine) 23-26 21-18 21-16 to top his group, has thought hard about the reason for India’s success in his category.

“They have a large pool of athletes to choose from and many seem to have been born with their disability. Maybe they’re more used to how to move their bodies from a young age,” said Joo, who sustained cerebral damage after a fall at the age of 14.

Results

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12 February 2024
Paris Dreaming

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8 February 2024
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7 February 2024
Malaysia Open: ‘Anything is Possible’

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10 January 2024
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In the League of Greats

7 January 2024
Malaysian Duo Look to Build on Gains from Last Season

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6 January 2024
Game for Friendly Fight

Game for Friendly Fight

5 January 2024
Gilmour: Grit and Grace on the Road to Paris 2024

Gilmour: Grit and Grace on the Road to Paris 2024

4 January 2024
Season Preview: Towards Paris 2024

Season Preview: Towards Paris 2024

2 January 2024
Dubai Para: Monteiro Focused on Meticulous Planning

Dubai Para: Monteiro Focused on Meticulous Planning

12 December 2023
BWF Presents Super Smash Squad: Unleashing Badminton Heroes

BWF Presents Super Smash Squad: Unleashing Badminton Heroes

25 October 2023
Naraoka, An Se Young Lead Race to Paris

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4 August 2023
Paris 2024: With a Year to Go, Festive Spirit Pervades

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26 July 2023
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Badminton Lets Pu Gui Yu Enjoy the World

20 July 2023
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28 June 2023
Canada Para: Bethell Extends Dominance Over Bhagat

Canada Para: Bethell Extends Dominance Over Bhagat

19 June 2023
Thai Para: Daily Discussions Lead to Gold

Thai Para: Daily Discussions Lead to Gold

15 May 2023
Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

14 May 2023
Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

13 May 2023
Thai Para: ‘I Got Tired of Losing’

Thai Para: ‘I Got Tired of Losing’

12 May 2023
Thai Para: It’s Looking Up for Krajewski

Thai Para: It’s Looking Up for Krajewski

11 May 2023
The Bell Sounds for Paris 2024

The Bell Sounds for Paris 2024

1 May 2023
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27 April 2023
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15 April 2023
Spanish Para: Bethell Brings it Home for the Team

Spanish Para: Bethell Brings it Home for the Team

27 February 2023
Spanish Para: Double Winner Kajiwara Keeping it Fun

Spanish Para: Double Winner Kajiwara Keeping it Fun

27 February 2023
Spanish Para: Sooyoung So Good

Spanish Para: Sooyoung So Good

26 February 2023
Spanish Para: My Time to Shine, Enthuses Ikhtiar

Spanish Para: My Time to Shine, Enthuses Ikhtiar

26 February 2023
Spanish Para: ‘Anyone’s Playing Field’

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25 February 2023
Spanish Para: It’s All Smiles for Loquette

Spanish Para: It’s All Smiles for Loquette

24 February 2023
Spanish Para: Jones-Barnes Spreading the Joy of Badminton

Spanish Para: Jones-Barnes Spreading the Joy of Badminton

23 February 2023
Spanish Para: Patience Key for Self Motivator Bunsun

Spanish Para: Patience Key for Self Motivator Bunsun

23 February 2023
Spanish Para: ‘This One’s For You, Bello’

Spanish Para: ‘This One’s For You, Bello’

22 February 2023
Spanish Para: New Season Brings New Faces

Spanish Para: New Season Brings New Faces

21 February 2023
Para Shuttlers’ Road to Paris Begins in Spain

Para Shuttlers’ Road to Paris Begins in Spain

18 February 2023
Wandschneider/Hellman Chasing Fresh Records

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4 January 2023
‘Extraordinary Year’ for Dual Paralympian Mathez

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23 December 2022
Ticketing Opens for Paris 2024

Ticketing Opens for Paris 2024

13 December 2022
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26 November 2022
‘France in Good Position to be Top Five in World’

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17 November 2022
Schedule Announced as Two-Year Countdown to Paris 2024 Begins

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28 July 2022