Complete medal collection for Eger from the Czech Para Badminton Emil Open 2023
The 6th annual Para Badminton International, this time called the Czech Para Badminton Emil Open 2023, was held at the weekend in the Štěrbohol sports hall. The organizational move to the capital city attracted a larger number of foreign players. Among the Czechs, the most valuable medal went to Ales Eger and Tomas Drtil in the doubles. Kamil Šnajdar surprised with a great performance in the wheelchair category.
The expected participation of about 60 athletes from 11 different countries is an extraordinary success for the organizing team around Tomáš Vovs and a confirmation that moving the tournament to Prague made sense. The Para-Badminton competitions were divided both in terms of games - group phase with a possible subsequent spider - and also in terms of disability classifications. From this point of view, the athletes are divided into 6 groups, specific divisions and of course other information can be found on the parabadminton website.
In singles our players managed to win 6 medals! In the WH1 category (wheelchair players with greater trunk disabilities), Kamil Šnajdar took the amazingly prized silver, who after his first wins over Sýkora and Šembera was only able to keep up with the legend of the sport, the English representative David Follett. The latter occupied the 12th place in the world ranking in the past. The bronze was shared by Lukáš Kyncl and Zbyněk Sýkora.
The doubles combined the WH1 and WH2 categories (wheelchair players with greater or lesser torso disabilities) and also our leading players. They divided the bronze medals between them, Kamil Šnajdar with Lukáš Kyncl and Lukáš Šembera with Zbyněk Sýkora. Mixed doubles brought Czech-Polish cooperation, after which Lukas Šembera and Natalia Grzyb got a silver medal and Lukas Kyncl and Anna Wolna a bronze medal.
The combined SU5 (standing group with upper limb impairment) and SH6 (standing group of small stature players) category was singles spoils for another English fighter, Sean O'Sullivan. He was followed by Tomas Drtil and Filip Rataj in third place.
In the singles SL3 category (standing group with lower limb disability above the knee), Tomasz Szwedo of Poland dominated completely, not allowing his opponents more than 10 points in individual sets. The silver medal went to the home team's Ales Eger. The fourth place went to Radek Dutý in the neighbouring SL4 category (standing group with lower limb disability below the knee).
The combination of the categories SL3, SL4 (standing group with a smaller or bigger lower limb disability), SU5 and SH6 (standing group with an upper limb disability or small stature) brought Aleš Eger together with the Swedish Hillevi Salomonsson to the second place in the mixed doubles group. The Dutch-Swedish opponents were already beyond their strength, and so Eger and Salomonsson eventually finished in third position.
However, there was also gold! In the men's doubles of the same category SL3, SL4, SU5, SH6, Ales Eger and Tomas Drtil had a great success. In the group battles they lost to Van Der Weijden and Davids from the Netherlands in two sets, but our players entered the final match with lessons learned and managed to outplay the Dutch in a dramatic ending of the decisive set 21:18.
The women's singles of the combined WH1 and WH2 categories (wheelchair users with more or less torso disabilities) ended with an expected victory. Frenchwoman Marilou Maurel, former 14th player in the world, took the title after a clear victory.
Author: Jakub Mazúr, Czech Badminton Federation