Japan’s Sarina Satomi wins women’s WH1 badminton singles gold
Written by tokyoclub on September 4, 2021
Japan’s Sarina Satomi won the gold medal Saturday in the women’s badminton WH1 singles at the Tokyo Paralympics, becoming the first Japanese player to win gold in the sport that was newly introduced at the Tokyo Games.
Satomi, 23, defeated Sujirat Pookkham of Thailand 14-21, 21-19, 21-13 in the 55-minute final at Yoyogi National Stadium.
Japan’s Sarina Satomi plays against Sujirat Pookkham of Thailand in the women’s badminton singles WH1 final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Sept. 4, 2021, at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.
After a shaky start that culminated in the first game loss, Satomi got on track to start the second and built an early lead.
Sujirat was not willing to roll over and roared back to take a three-point lead, but Satomi was up for the task and closed out the 21-19 game with a shot directed at her opponent’s body.
In the decider, Satomi built an 11-8 lead at the mid-game break. Her opponent’s heavily taped shoulder appeared to be giving her discomfort and the Japanese took advantage, closing out the game 21-13 to claim gold.
The Chiba Prefecture native acquired spinal cord injuries in a traffic accident in 2016 while she was a high school student.
She took up the sport in 2017 because she used to play badminton in middle school and made her debut for the Japanese national team in 2018 in Thailand.