USA Para-Badminton brings home six medals from Brazil

By Steve Kearney, USA Para-Badminton | Aug. 16, 2018, 5:13 p.m. (ET)

USA Para-Badminton in Brazil


A contingent of six USA Para-badminton players participated in the 2018 Brazil Para-badminton International August 9-12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  With representation in the WH1, SL3 and SS6 classes, the USA players showed great competitiveness against players from 16 countries.  In all, there were 133 athletes competing, including large teams from Brazil (51) and Japan (20).
The United States was well-represented on the podium, bringing home six medals, all in the SS6 class.  Katherine Valli had the top singles finish, with a Silver in SS6 Women’s Singles, losing in the finals to the current World #2 Giuliana Flores from Peru.  She also paired with Miles Krajewski in SS6 Mixed Doubles to earn Bronze following a heartbreaking 3-game (21-15, 12-21, 19-21) loss to the pair of Tunque/Flores from Peru.
Dawson McClure earned a Bronze, partnering with Wyatt Lightfoot from Canada in SS6 Men’s Doubles. McClure also advanced to the Quarterfinals in SS6 Men’s Singles.
In addition to the Bronze in SS6 Mixed Doubles, Miles Krajewski earned a Bronze medal in Men’s Singles, losing 20-22, 12-21 to the eventual champion Vitor Tavares from Brazil in an exciting semifinal that had the attention of the entire crowd.

Krajewski then went on to partner with Tavares in SS6 Men’s Doubles to win Gold in a 3-game thriller against Mark Dharmai (IND) and Yohei Hatakeyama (JPN) 16-21, 21-17, 21-18.
Competing well but falling slightly short of advancing out of group play in their events were Amy Burnett (WH1), Richard Alcaraz (SL4) and Eric Johnson (SL4).
Accompanying Team USA to Brazil was Coach Dean Schoppe and manager/medical personnel Yuko Kawasaki.  

"The level of play by our athletes reflects directly to the time and effort each has put into improving and
the results and improvement of our players is outstanding".

Schoppe said, "These events go a long way in demonstrating our improvements by way of our results, they also provide us with a realistic comparison of our technical skills verses those of other countries.  Our team is made up of a wide verity of players and experience levels, and we have improved so much considering the logistical limitations."

On the success of the American players, Kawasaki said, “I was so pleased with how all of our players performed.  Despite having numerous challenges, everyone played very well.  The representation they provided for USA Badminton was remarkable, and their hard work and dedication is starting to pay off.  I look forward to their continued growth and success.”