Gold medal rematch set up for 4 Nations WH 2 final

Thai Paralympic silver medalist Sujirat Pookkham will meet Sarina Satomi, the woman who pipped her to the gold medal in Tokyo, in tomorrow’s WH 2 final in Glasgow.

Both overcame their opponents in two sets, with Satomi beating Hu Guang-Chiou of Chinese Taipei 21, 21 to 9, 6 and Pookkham overcoming Swiss star Cynthia Mathez 21, 21 to 14, 10.

The Paralympic champion Satomi was in fine form throughout, but Guang-Chiou impressed in the first set and restricted Satomi to a slender lead going into the interval.

An excellent clear shot from the Japanese player saw her take control and lead the match 15 to 7. This deficit was clearly impacting Guang-Chiou, who cut a frustrated figure upon every lost point.

She was unable to shake this frustration on the way to a 21 to 9 first-set loss, with the power and accuracy of Satomi proving overwhelming to Guang-Chiou.

A clever drop shot from Satomi was the pick of the points as she stormed into a 17 to 5 lead in the second set. She was equally able to exploit the backcourt, producing strong clears to force Guang-Chiou to chase the shuttlecock to remain competitive.

It wasn’t to be for the Chinese Taipei athlete though as the class of the Paralympic champion shone through in a 21-6 second set victory.

Satomi will face off against the same opponent that she beat in the Paralympic final after Sujirat Pookkham defeated Cynthia Mathez in two sets.

Similarly to Satomi, Pookkham’s quality was apparent throughout. Her ability to traverse the court at speed left Mathez with few openings to score points.

Mathez did have a power advantage, however, and her smashes allowed her to claw back Pookkham to 13 to 10 after the interval.

The Thai star excelled in deft drop shots which helped to neutralise Mathez’s power, enough to secure a 21-14 set one victory.

Power from Mathez became important once again at the start of set two, with the Swiss player stringing together some strong clears to put Pookkham on the defensive.

The Swiss voices of Mathez’s teammates and coaches were loud throughout the match, but neutralising drop shots from Pookkham became more and more frequent. Mathez had no answer for this accuracy and saw the game slip away from her, eventually losing the set 21 to 10.

Pookkham will have her opportunity at revenge against Satomi tomorrow when The 4 Nations Para-Badminton International enters it’s final day, with 16 titles up for grabs.

By Nathan Hassett

Nathan Hassett (@nathanhassett__) / X