Before badminton makes its historic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, here are some unforgettable moments from the sport:
1. First joint World Championships showcases best of the best
The 2019 Para Badminton World Championships in Basel, Switzerland, marked the first time both able-bodied and Para athletes competed on the same global stage. The 12th edition gathered more than 300 athletes from 49 nations at the same venue, and that platform was something all Para athletes were looking forward to.
“It is a big opportunity for us as the Para badminton athletes, because I’ve never seen such a big media interest in our sport before,” Switzerland’s Karin Suter-Erath said before the competition.
2. Qu Zimo takes triple gold in 2019
There seems no stopping the teenage wheelchair badminton sensation Qu Zimo. The Chinese athlete made headlines for defeating experienced counterparts on his way to winning major titles since joining the national team in 2015. He won a triple crown at an international tournament in Tukey and China, to go along with his titles in the men’s singles and doubles at the 2019 Worlds. The triumph was a great way to celebrate his 18th birthday.
3. Leani Ratri Oktila a triple threat on numerous occasions
The Indonesian superstar has won several triple crowns of her own. Most recently, she completed a sweep at the 2019 international tournaments in Canada and Ireland. At the 2019 World Championships, she fell short by taking silver in the mixed doubles SL 3-SU 5. But nonetheless, her world titles in other events stamped her authority in the SL 4 class.
4. Six double world champions
The 2019 World Championships were one to remember. Not only did it see the first joint Worlds between able-bodied and Para athletes, but it saw an increase in competitors and stunning talents emerge ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. India’s Pramod Bhagat; Indonesia’s Dheva Anrimusthi and Leani Ratri Oktila; Great Britain’s Rachel Choong; and China’s Liu Yutong and Qu Zimo all left as double world champions.
5. Giuliana Poveda Flores makes Latin American history
Flores will remember Basel 2019 not only because she won the women’s singles SH 6. Additionally, she made history in her region by becoming first Latin American world champion in both able-bodied and Para badminton.