GB Para-Badminton SL3 number one Dan Bethell beat the top two players in the world – including the reigning world champion - to win the YONEX Canada Para-Badminton International and claim his first title in Paralympic qualifying year last weekend.
Bethell, from Huntingdon, is ranked third in the current world standings and was seeded for the semi finals in Canada. However he defeated the world’s undisputed number one Pramod Bhagat in a 64 minute semi final stage here in three games before denying Indonesia’s World Champion Ukun Rakaendi – the world number two - in the shootout for the title.
He had also dispatched the world silver medallist Manoj Sarkar in the quarter final stage to complete a hat trick of impressive wins.
The 19-21, 21-14, 22-20 win over world number one Bhagat is a result that will send waves through the classification but is one of little surprise to Bethell who is returning from a five month injury lay off.
Bethell’s title was not the only one for GB Para-Badminton in Canada; World Champion Jack Shephard returned to winning ways to win the SS6 crown.
Shephard has missed out on top spot in the past two events on the circuit but was back on top form this week and the manner of his victory will be one of comfort after beating two of the Asian rivals who have presented new challenges in recent events.
He beat Chun Yim Wong in three games before defeating Man Kai Chu 16-21, 21-19, 21-17. Man Kai Chu had been crowned Turkish International champion back in January when Shephard took home bronze.
There was a podium appearance too for GB’s leading WH2 wheelchair star Martin Rooke who won bronze. Rooke, now fourth in the world, was beaten by world number two Ho Yuen Chan who was named eventual champion after handing Jung Jun Kim a rare defeat.
Photo credit (news story): BadmintonPhoto