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The 4th DAIHATSU Japan Para-Badminton Championships Tournamen

The 4th DAIHATSU Japan
Para-Badminton Championships
Report

  • Date: 15th - 16th, December. 2018
  • Venue: Kurume Sports Center, Kurume Arena
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“The 4th DAIHATSU Japan Para-Badminton Championships” was held across 2 days from Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th December at the Kurume Sports Center, Kurume Arena in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Para-badminton will become an official sport at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Together with badminton, the popularity of this sport is growing every year. In recent times many Japanese players have been performing well domestically, as well as on the world stage.

Over 120 players from all over Japan participated in this tournament, which was held again in Kyushu following last year’s Nagasaki tournament. The players displayed their skills in a total of 19 Singles and Doubles categories that are separated based on the type of disability. With the Tokyo Paralympics set to be held in 2 years time in mind, all the participating players set out to win this tournament that brought the year of 2018 to a close.

Match Report

The Men’s and Women’s Singles were on day 1 while the Doubles were on day 2, with many players featuring in both Singles and Doubles. There were even cases where players who played against each other in the Singles final teamed up as a pair for the Doubles, creating scenes which embodied “Today's enemy is tomorrow friend”.

Players who set the tournament alight by winning both the Singles and Doubles title were Atsuya WATANABE in the WH2 class and Rintaro NAKANO in the ID7 class in the Men’s and Sarina SATOMI in the WH1 class and Yuma YAMAZAKI in the WH2 class in the Women’s.

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    WH2 Men’s Singles
    Atsuya WATANABE

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    ID7 Men’s Singles
    Rintaro NAKANO

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    WH1-2 Women’s Doubles
    Yuma YAMAZAKI・Sarina SATOMI

Daisuke FUJIHARA, who was victorious in the Men’s Singles SL3 class, controlled his matches from start to finish to win the tournament for the 4th consecutive time. He showed that he is a true champion.
Meanwhile Taiyo IMAI managed a complete victory by winning every match in straight sets to become the champion in the Men’s Singles SU5+ class. Currently a university student, he overwhelmed his opponents with his powerful play that displayed his youthful energy.

The player who pumped up the venue the most at this tournament was Kouhei KOBAYASHI in the Men’s WH1 class. KOBAYASHI grew up in Fukuoka and is also an employee of Bridgestone Corporation, a company being founded in the tournament host city of Kurume, so many people came to cheer for him from the stands. He played against his doubles partner Hiroshi MURAYAMA in the final, which turned out to be a very tight match with both the 1st and 2nd games going to deuce. KOBAYASHI rode the momentum from winning the 2nd game and took the decisive 3rd game as well to brilliantly claim victory.

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    SL3 Men’s Singles
    Daisuke FUJIHARA

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    SU5+ Men’s Singles
    Taiyo IMAI

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    WH1 Men’s Singles
    Kouhei KOBAYASHI

Interviews with the Champions

Saturday 15, December
Men’s Singles

Men’s Singles WH1
Kouhei KOBAYASHI (Fukuoka)

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I’m so happy that I won this tournament held in Kurume, the city where my company Bridgestone was founded. People from my hometown and colleagues came to cheer for me, which gave me a lot of strength to battle hard. I’m filled with gratitude to all the people who are always supporting me.
I played against my doubles partner in the final so it was difficult because we knew each other inside out, but the support from everyone pushed me over the line. From here I want to do my best towards winning a medal at the Paralympics in2020.

Men’s Singles WH2
Atsuya WATANABE (Tokyo)

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First of all I feel glad to have won consecutively following on from last year. There are only a few competitors in WH2, but my opponent in the final was KAJIWARA, who is a good rival. I hope we can keep pushing each other to work hard and improve to bring excitement to WH2 and wheelchair badminton in general.
The point race to appear at Tokyo 2020 will begin next year, so my first goal is to achieve qualification for the Paralympics. Of course I’m also aiming to win this championships for the 3rd time in a row.

Men’s Singles SL3
Daisuke FUJIHARA (Ibaraki)

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I managed to achieve my 4th victory in a row at this tournament. I think I won because I could play in my own way as I normally do.
There are about 3 months left before the point race for the Paralympics begins, so I’m going to focus on my training for the time being. The point race will begin in 2019, but first I want to work hard to make sure I win the overseas tournament in March so that I can make a strong starting dash towards qualifying for the Paralympics.

Men’s Singles SL4
Katsuhiro YAMAMOTO (Osaka)

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I wasn’t able to win last year so it was great to win this time. I think I won because I managed to make the most of all the advice I got from the coaches and other national players during the overseas tours.
Next year I want to keep winning one match at a time at international tournaments so that I can appear at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

Men’s Singles SU5+
Taiyo IMAI (Kanagawa)

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I won the first edition of this tournament but I was the runner-up on the second time, so I couldn’t make it consecutive wins at that time. I managed to win it last year so I was really determined to defend the title this time, it is great that I managed to achieve this. Defending the title gives me a lot of confidence moving forward.
This year I worked to strengthen my lower body throughout the year and the results of that came through, it definitely helped me win today.

Men’s Singles SS6
Yohei HATAKEYAMA (Tokyo)

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I worked hard at this tournament to play in my own way. I was able to achieve this and I think this put my opponents off balance.
My next goal is first to be selected as a designated player, then to keep getting points so that I can be chosen as a representative for the 2020 Paralympics. I hope that our efforts as players can increase public awareness for the sport of para-badminton.

Men’s Singles ID7
Rintaro NAKANO (Nagano)

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It’s the best feeling! I’m so happy to win 3 tournaments in a row. The support from my friends and everyone who cheered for me helped me to win.
Next time I want to be able to battle longer and tougher. I’m aiming to win next year as well of course.


Women’s Singles

Women’s Singles WH1
Sarina SATOMI (Chiba)

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I had never been the number one in Japan before, so my goal was to win this championships. I have always trained a lot, but from April this year I was selected as a designated player (next generation athlete), so the quality of my training improved. This has helped me to get this result.
This year I managed to defeat the number 2 player in the world, so my goal next year is to beat the world number 1. The point race to appear at Tokyo 2020 will also begin next year, so I will do my best to get points one match at a time.

Women’s Singles WH2
Yuma YAMAZAKI (Tokyo)

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My physical condition was actually not very good for the last few days, so it was great that I somehow managed to battle through and win the tournament.
My form has been good all year and my condition got better with each match, so I was able to win a number of gold medals. I will work hard to win in both the Singles and Doubles next year as well. The race to qualify for the Paralympics will begin next year, so I hope to steadily win each match and earn points.

Women’s Singles SL3
Mio HAYASHI (Tokyo)

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First of all I was happy to return to playing badminton after quite a while away, so I was able to enjoy just playing the sport. Of course I was happy to win the tournament as well of course, but it was just great to play badminton again after a 3 year break.
I hope I can continue to play and also appear at international tournaments. I’m also aiming to get to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Women’s Singles SL4
Haruka FUJINO (Fukuoka)

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My goal was to win this tournament. Other than just trying to win, I also care about the content of my matches, so I have to try and fix the number of errors I made.
I identified some of my week points at this tournament, so I’m going to do my best to train hard so I can overcome these problems and remove these mistakes.
I’m hoping to keep playing this sport until at least the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, so I’m going to do my best to achieve this goal.

Women’s Singles SU5+
Ayako SUZUKI (Miyagi)

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The final of this tournament was the last match of the year, so it was the best possible result to finish with.
I feel a decline in my stamina and strength each year, but I want to train well so I can improve my condition. Training is tough, but I can keep putting in more effort by reminding myself that it is all for the Paralympics in 2020. Putting this year to one side, I want to be even more motivated to battle hard and get results next year.

Women’s Singles ID7
Noriko UCHIDA (Aichi)

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I was nervous because it was my first time appearing at a big tournament. All my teammates had lost though, so I wanted to win for them as well. It was good that I was able to move well during the matches.
Next year I will do my best to win this championships for the 2nd time in a row.


Sunday 16th December
Men’s Doubles

Men’s Doubles WH1-2
Atsuya WATANABE (Tokyo) / Osamu NAGASHIMA (Tokyo)

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We haven’t been a pair for very long, but after thinking about many things as we played each match together, we decided to treat this championships as a milestone. That’s why it was so great to be able to win here.
At this tournament we fought with a sense of determination that we had to win as this pair. We want to keep motivating each and improve even more and aim for a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Men’s Doubles SL3-4
Taku HIROI (Hokkaido) / Toshiaki SUENAGA (Kanagawa)

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To tell the truth I was really happy to win against the opponent I lost to in the Singles final. Our pair’s strong point is that we both are able to attack, so we are going to work hard to improve our attacks even more.
Next year we are going to play at this championships as a pair again, if we don’t fight with each other (laughs). So we’re aiming to defend our title.

Men’s Doubles SU5+
Yuya ITO (Tokyo) / Wataru KIMURA (Kanagawa)

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We were focused on playing every match with maximum effort. We’re happy that this total effort gave us a winning result.
The final was a difficult match, but the coach’s advice helped to control our emotions so we could play on the front foot. It was so great to win the championships.
Next we are going to appear as this pair at the Deaflympics, multi-sport tournament for these with hearing disability. We want to get the gold medal there.

Men’s Doubles ID7
Rintaro NAKANO (Nagano) / Kazuya TANAKA (Tokyo)

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To be honest these last 2 days were really tough, but we managed to win somehow by supporting each other. I’m so grateful to Mr. NAKANO, said Mr.TANAKA.
There are still only a few people who participate in the intellectual disability class for badminton, so as players we all want to do our best to let people around the world know about this kind of badminton.


Women’s Doubles

Women’s Doubles WH1-2
Yuma YAMAZAKI (Tokyo) / Sarina SATOMI (Chiba)

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Playing in doubles is difficult if your combination with each other doesn’t match, but we were able to complement each other and win against a strong opponent. We are both able to hit strong clearances, so it was good that we could recover straight away even if our play broke down.
You are stronger in doubles if you enjoy playing together. We were able to have fun playing this time as well, which helped us to win the championships.

Women’s Doubles ID7
Asuka KURIMARU (Fukuoka) / Sayaka ISHI (Nagasaki)

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We were able to do our best together as a pair, this is why we managed to get a winning result this time. We are going to keep working hard!

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Results

Singles

Category Champion Runner-up 3rd place
WH1
Men’s Singles
Kouhei KOBAYASHI (Fukuoka) Hiroshi MURAYAMA (Chiba) Osamu NAGASHIMA (Tokyo)
Mamoru OE (Tokyo)
WH2
Men’s Singles
Atsuya WATANABE (Tokyo) Daiki KAJIWARA (Fukuoka) Yuui MOCHIZUKI (Chiba)
Nobuyuki WAGATSUMA (Miyagi)
SL3
Men’s Singles
Daisuke FUJIHARA (Ibaraki) Toshiaki SUENAGA (Kanagawa) Taku HIROI (Hokkaido)
Takayuki TANIGUCHI (Tokyo)
SL4
Men’s Singles
Katsuhiro YAMAMOTO (Osaka) Takahito TAKEYAMA (Kanagawa) Ren SAMONJI (Hokkaido)
Shumpei TAKEUCHI (Kyoto)
SU5+
Men’s Singles
Taiyo IMAI (Kanagawa) Gen SHOGAKI (Hyogo) Yaichiro AOKI (Shiga)
Yuya ITO (Tokyo)
SS6
Men’s Singles
Yohei HATAKEYAMA (Tokyo) Hyouga SUZUKI (Tokyo) Tomoya UENO (Tokyo)
ID7
Men’s Singles
Rintaro NAKANO (Nagano) Kazuya TANAKA (Tokyo) Kouta ONO (Kumamoto)
Yudai MATSUZAKI (Ibaraki)
WH1
Women’s Singles
Sarina SATOMI (Chiba) Ikumi FUKE (Shiga) Etsuko KOBAYASHI (Fukuoka)
Chika OHTSU (Nara)
WH2
Women’s Singles
Yuma YAMAZAKI (Tokyo) Rie OGURA (Saitama) Yoko EGAMI (Shiga)
SL3
Women’s Singles
Mio HAYASHI (Tokyo) Noriko ITO (Aichi) Asami YAMADA (Chiba)
SL4
Women’s Singles
Haruka FUJINO (Fukuoka) Yuko YAMAGUCHI (Tokyo) Yuko TANAKA (Fukuoka)
SU5+
Women’s Singles
Ayako SUZUKI (Miyagi) Kaede KAMEYAMA (Miyagi) Mayumi NISHIGAMI (Ishikawa)
ID7
Women’s Singles
Noriko UCHIDA (Aichi) Yuka OMURA (Osaka) Yuki SHIMOURA (Fukuoka)
Sayaka ISHII (Nagasaki)


Doubles

Category Champion Runner-up 3rd place
WH1-2
Men’s Doubles
Atsuya WATANABE (Tokyo)
Osamu NAGASHIMA (Tokyo)
Kouhei KOBAYASHI (Fukuoka)
Hiroshi MURAYAMA (Chiba)
Daiki KAJIWARA (Fukuoka)
Mamoru OE (Tokyo)

Shin OHAMA (Saitama)
Tsutomu SHIMADA (Nara)
SL3-4
Men’s Doubles
Taku HIROI (Hokkaido)
Toshiaki SUENAGA (Kanagawa)
Daisuke FUJIHARA (Ibaraki)
Kaito NAKAMURA (Tokyo)
Kazunobu ASANO (Kanagawa)
Mitsuo MIZUKAMI (Iwate)

Takahito TAKEYAMA (Kanagawa)
Takayuki TANIGUCHI (Tokyo)
SU5+
Men’s Doubles
Yuya ITO (Tokyo)
Wataru KIMURA (Kanagawa)
Taiyo IMAI (Kanagawa)
Kohei OBARA (Hokkaido)
Gen SHOGAKI (Hyogo)
Tetsuo URA (Tokyo)
ID7
Men’s Doubles
Rintaro NAKANO (Nagano)
Kazuya TANAKA (Tokyo)
Yasunari MAEDA (Chiba)
Yudai MATSUZAKI (Ibaraki)
Ryusei MAEDA (Chiba)
Naoya YAMADA (Chiba)
WH1-2
Women’s Doubles
Yuma YAMAZAKI (Tokyo)
Sarina SATOMI (Chiba)
Rie OGURA (Saitama)
Ikumi FUKE (Shiga)
Yoko EGAMI (Shiga)
Midori SHIMADA (Nara)

Chika OHTSU (Nara)
Yayoi KAWAMORI (Nara)
ID7
Women’s Doubles
Asuka KURIMARU (Fukuoka)
Sayaka ISHII (Nagasaki)
Yuki SHIMOURA (Fukuoka)
Yuka OMURA (Osaka)
Naoko KOBAYASHI (Chiba)
Renga ASAMI (Chiba)
Venue Report

It has been 3 years since this championships was last held in Kurume, Fukuoka in the 1st edition of the event. The host venue for this tournament is the Kurume Sports Center Kurume Arena, a new sports facility that opened in 2018. It has the latest equipment and is one of the premier general gymnasiums in Kyushu.
DAIHATSU has been the main sponsor since last year and supported the cheering of the spectators by setting up special booths inside the venue and distributing coffee and other drinks as well as cookies to the fans. Beside the booths there was a display of DAIHATSU’s welfare vehicles, the TanTo Custom Sloper, wheelchair transport car and the TanTo Welcome Seat, flexible seat car. People who came to the venue could experience the vehicles’ many features as well as the spacious interiors.

 

There was also a presentation display of the protective covers for sports wheelchairs transport that DAIHATSU is manufacturing based on the requests of para-badminton players and using knowledge from DAIHATSU’s packaging technology for car components. Another display showed the original gold, silver and bronze medals made especially for this championships by DAIHATSU METAL Co., Ltd. in cooperation with DAIHATSU. DAIHATSU METAL is an expert in foundry technology and mainly handle the engine components of DAIHATSU cars. These medals feature the local Kurume traditional weaving pattern “Kurume Kasuri” in the strap section. They were presented to the 1st to 3rd placed players at this championships.
At the ceremony held after the matches on 16th, December, the President of DAIHATSU Motor Co., Ltd. Soichiro OKUDAIRA acted as the presenter to give these special medals to the winners in each class.

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