Across the two days from 16 (Sat) to 17 (Sun) of December, "The 3rd Daihatsu Japan Para-Badminton Championship Tournament" was held at Sea Hat Omura in Omura City of Nagasaki Prefecture.
Para-Badminton, a sport that has been gaining attention due to it being recognized as an official sport for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic. At this tournament that stands at the top within the country, more than 130 players from all over Japan participated. Split into 19 different classes according to whether the players are in wheelchairs or standing positions, the players show off their incandescent plays, each aiming for Japan's number one within their class.
Amongst them, the featured ones are the four players who played with their third consecutive champion title on the line. They are Osamu Nagashima (WH1 Men's Singles), Daisuke Fujihara (SL3 Men's Singles), Yuma Yamazaki (WH2 Women's Singles) and Ayako Suzuki (SU5 Women's Singles). At the end of their heated battles, all four of them were able to handle the pressure pressing onto them as defending champions, and brilliantly achieve their third consecutive victories.
In addition, Nagashima, who also played as a pair with Hiroshi Murayama, emerged as the champion in the WH1-2 Doubles, thus clinching his second Gold medal in this tournament. Similarly in the Women's side, Ikumi Fuke, who won the WH1 Women's Singles also emerged as champion for the WH1-2 Women's Doubles as a pair with Rie Ogura, thus clinching two Gold medals as well.
Apart from those, in the Doubles matches on the 17th (Sun), the Endo Masaya and Watanabe Chikara pair from ID7 Men's Doubles and the Akiko Sugino and Mamiko Toyoda pair from SU5 Women's Doubles consecutively won two tournaments, defending their crowns as the best in the Doubles category in Japan.
Men's Singles: 16 December (Sat)
Osamu Nagashima (Tokyo)
Being able to win this tournament too, honestly, I am feeling very relieved right now. I am glad that I was able to produce results despite the other players getting stronger and stronger and the pressure of being the consecutive champion.
My aim for the next year is to firstly be chosen as an enhancement designated player, and then to clinch a medal at the Asian Para Games held in Indonesia.
Atsuya Watanabe (Tokyo)
Although my performance in the match does not deserve a full score, I think the reason I was able to win was because I managed to play as I envisioned throughout the game.
Towards the coming year, I wish to leave good results by firstly winning against the enhancement designated player of our country. Following that, at the international tournament, which is my next goal, I aim to win.
Daisuke Fujihara (Ibaraki)
Today, since I was able to properly produce my plays in all the matches, I feel that the three consecutive tournament victories was simply a result that followed.
Since the results of the World championships this year was not satisfactory, my aim is to be the champion at the grand stage known as the Asian Para Games next year.
Takahito Takeyama (Kanagawa)
I think I was able to concentrate in every match and keep my spirit and focus, and that was good. Especially for the first match, I was able to achieve a good win, and was able to keep up that momentum till the very end.
While I am the oldest player in the tournament, I still wish to aim for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic. It will be great if me aiming for the Paralympics can serve as an inspiration for the younger ones. Anyway, I plan to head towards 2020 with an even stronger and straightforward heart than before.
Taiyou Imai (Kanagawa)
In the Asian Youth Para Games previously, I was able to somehow emerge as the champion amidst the tough battles. I was able to really feel my own growth then. I think what was good this time was that I was able to maintain that good image as I challenged the tournament this time. Since I lost at the finals last year, I really wanted to win this time.
Next year, I hope to win against players from overseas like Indonesia and become the champion at the Asian Para Games.
Yohei Hatakeyama (Tokyo)
This time, my opponent had a slightly heavier disability than me and that might have given me an advantage.
Going forward, my goal is to be selected as the enhancement designated player at the selections next year, accumulate some results overseas, and finally I hope to play for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic.
Although the final game was a close one, and I was not sure how it was going to turn out, the cheers from the audiences echoed within me. I believe my win was also thanks to that.
I want hit more and more smashes next and continue to win like this.
Women's Singles: 16 December (Sun)
Ikumi Fuke (Shiga)
As I managed to play calmly today, I think I was able to produce all my strength.
Going forward, my goal is to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic and clinch a Gold medal there.
Yuma Yamazaki (Tokyo)
I had an impression that I was able to properly execute my own plays.
I made some mistakes at the start and while that made me a little nervous, I was able to get back up and win the third consecutive tournament.
Facing the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic, I wish to properly win at world tournaments one by one and steadily get seeded.
Yamaguchi Yuko (Tokyo)
Of course, I am happy that I won the tournament. But, there were not many participants in my class and that made me feel a little lonely.
Personally, more than wanting to win, I want to become better. Thus, as long as my body holds, I wish to accumulate more trainings and aim towards a higher level.
Ayako Suzuki (Miyagi)
I think I was able to be the champion because I went into my matches with the mind-set that I will win no matter what.
This year, since I was able to be the champion at all the international tournaments, I wish to continue and be the champion for all the international tournaments next year as well.
I am happy that I won the tournament.
I hope to win again next near and achieve two consecutive tournament victories.
Men's Doubles: 17 December (Sun)
Hiroshi Murayama (Chiba)/Osamu Nagashima (Tokyo) Pair
I am happy that I was able to be the champion thanks to teaming up with NAGASHIMA. (Murayama)
While I had won in the Singles, I am relieved that I was able to win in the Doubles category as well. (Nagashima)
Taku Hiroi (Hokkaido)/Toshiaki Suenaga (Kanagawa) Pair
It was great that we were able to both move our legs well together. Normally, I tend to stiffen during matches, but this time I was able to relax and play as per usual. I think that was good.
Going forward, I will do my best so as to be able to clinch medals in international tournaments.
Gen Shougaki (Hyogo)/Kouhei Obara (Hokkaido) Pair
Although I was a little stiff at the start, as the matches went by, I was getting better and in the finals, I managed to relax. It was good that I managed to play with a good mental state.
Although I lost the first game and it was a tough fight, I changed my tactic from the second game and I believe that led to my victory.
Endo Masaya（Shizuoka）/Watanabe Chikara（Shizuoka）Pair
I am happy that I managed to achieve my two consecutive tournament victory. I am glad that we were able to have fun playing together.
As we were able to work hard together as one, I wish to work hard to get our third consecutive tournament victory next year.
Women's Doubles: 17 December (Sun)
Ikumi Fuke (Shiga)/Rie Ogura (Saitama) Pair
I am earnestly happy that we won. As the opponent at the finals were the ones we lost to last year, I fought while thinking that we must win this year.
Although we were in a defensive state at the start, it was good that we changed to an offensive state in the second half.
Akiko Sugino (Chiba)/Mamiko Toyoda (Chiba) Pair
While it was unfortunate that the participants count was low, I am glad that we won.
It was good that we were able to play according to the plan that we had thought out before the match.
As the two of us had paired together last year as well, Next year I hope to win the tournament together as the same pair.
Omura Yuka（Osaka）/Shimoura Yuki (Fukuoka) Pair
I am happy that we both pooled our strength together, worked hard and won. I wish to win the tournament next year as well.
I think it is important to continue with your own style, hence I am glad that I was able to execute plays that were like myself. I am filled with gratitude towards my parents and also to those who supported me.
List of champion winners
|Category||Class||Name of Participant|
|Men's Singles||MS WH1||Osamu Nagashima (Tokyo)|
|MS WH2||Atsuya Watanabe (Tokyo)|
|MS SL3||Daisuke Fujihara (Ibaraki)|
|MS SL4||Takahito Takeyama (Kanagawa)|
|MS SU5||Taiyou Imai (Kanagawa)|
|MS SS6||Yohei Hatakeyama (Tokyo)|
|MS ID7||Nakano Rintaro（Nagano）|
|Women's Singles||WS WH1||Ikumi Fuke (Shiga)|
|WS WH2||Yuma Yamazaki (Tokyo)|
|WS SL3-4||Yamaguchi Yuko (Tokyo)|
|WS SU5||Ayako Suzuki (Miyagi)|
|WS ID7||Ishi Sayaka（Nagasaki）|
|Men's Doubles||MD WH1-2||Hiroshi Murayama (Chiba)/Osamu Nagashima (Tokyo) Pair|
|MD SL3-4||Taku Hiroi (Hokkaido)/Toshiaki Suenaga (Kanagawa) Pair|
|MD SU5+||Gen Shougaki (Hyogo)/Kouhei Obara (Hokkaido) Pair|
|MD ID7||Endo Masaya（Shizuoka）/Watanabe Chikara（Shizuoka）Pair|
|Women's Doubles||WD WH1-2||Ikumi Fuke (Shiga)/Rie Ogura (Saitama) Pair|
|WD SU5||Akiko Sugino (Chiba)/Mamiko Toyoda (Chiba) Pair|
|WD ID7||Omura Yuka（Osaka）/Shimoura Yuki (Fukuoka) Pair|