5 August, 2023
Krysten Coombs wowed his home crowd in Sheffield as he rallied from a game down to battle past Miles Krajewski in a thrilling contest at the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.
Fourteen years separate 32-year-old Coombs and 18-year-old rising star Krajewski, though they were both among the leading contenders in the men’s SH6 singles this week.
And it was Krajewski, fresh off a quarter-final win over Chu Man Kai, who edged a tight opening game in this semi-final contest.
But Coombs bounced back to force a deciding game, and surged when it mattered at the end of the contest to claim a dramatic 20-22 21-16 21-19 triumph, setting up a final against Krishna Nagar.
“I’m a bit lost for words at the moment really,” said Coombs.
“I’m really pleased with that, there was a lot of running and to get my first final this year is massive, with what’s on the line point-wise.
“The build-up to this has been great, I’ve been playing some fantastic badminton in training and it feels so good when you can put it into your game on the day and get through to the final, which is even better in England with this home crowd.”
Home favourites Jack Shephard and Rachel Choong also sealed their place in Sunday’s finals line-up, downing Natthapong Meechai and Chai Saeyang in straight games.
Up next for them will be Subhan Subhan and Rina Marlina, the Indonesians also picking up a straight games victory over Krishna Nagar and Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan.
Marlina will be hoping to back up Saturday’s singles semi-final win over Choong come Sunday, beating the English woman 21-6 21-13 to reach the SH6 women’s final in Sheffield.
And she faces another rematch next against Sumathy Sivan, who overcame Giuliana Poveda Flores 21-10 24-22 in her singles semi-final contest.
Elsewhere, Maud Lefort and Catherine Rosengren set up an-all European final in the women’s SU5 singles after both women picked up impressive last-four victories.
Frenchwoman Lefort defeated Manisha Ramadass 21-18 21-14 to seal her spot in the final, while Rosengran saw off Kaede Kameyama 21-9 21-17.
Though she tasted defeat in her singles campaign there was victory alongside Pramod Bhagat in the SL3/SU5 mixed doubles for Ramadass, beating fellow Indian pair Ruthick Ragupathi and Manasi Girishchandra Joshi to reach the gold medal match.
There they will take on Hikmat Ramdani and Leani Ratri Oktila, after they overcame Fredy Setiawan and Khalimatus Sadiyah in an all-Indonesian semi-final.
Bhagat was also triumphant in his SL3 singles semi-final, a hard-fought 21-17 21-19 victory over compatriot Kumar Nitesh setting up a final against great rival Dan Bethell.
Bethell joined fellow English stars Shephard and Choong in reaching a 4 Nations final thanks to an impressive victory versus Mongkhun Bunsun.
In women’s SL4 action, Helle Sofie Sagoey rallied from a game down to beat Leani Ratri Oktila and set up a final clash against Haruka Fujino.
The Norwegian battled past her Indonesian opponent 17-21 21-16 21-15 to book a date against Fujino, the Japanese having handed a second defeat of the day to Sadiyah in their last-four encounter.
Sagoey commented: “I’m very happy with my game. I have never won against Oktila and I have waited for this day for a long time, and trained hard to finally come here. I’m very happy!
“I think it will be a positive experience because I know I can beat the No.1, so then I can try to do well tomorrow as well.”
Meanwhile, Sarina Satomi’s dominant form in the WH1 women’s singles continued as she dismissed Cynthia Mathez 21-13 21-9 to set up a Paralympic Games final rematch against Sujirat Pookkham, who defeated Kwon Hyunah 21-17 21-11.
The 4 Nations is being held with special thanks to Yonex – the Official Equipment Partner of the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.