PETALING JAYA: Podium Programme men’s singles shuttler Bakri Omar was red-hot in cold Ulsan, South Korea, to reach the knockout stage of the BWF-Para World Badminton Championships.
The 42-year-old emerged as Group B champion in men’s singles SL4 (impairment in one or both limbs) category after the completion of the round-robin matches at the Dongchun Gymnasium yesterday.
Bakri defeated Japan’s Kaito Nakamura 21-9, 21-13 and Turkey’s Sedat Tuenkaya 21-6, 21-10.
He will face Group J champion Anand Kumar Boregowda of India in the second round today.
Bakri and Anand received first-round byes in the 32-draw elimination round.
“The temperature is minus zero here. It’s freezing but we are doing our best to keep warm. So far, we’re doing fine.
“My goal is to reach at least the semi-finals here. It’ll be a bonus if I can go further,” said Bakri, who won a bronze by virtue of being the losing semi-finalist at the previous world meet in England in 2015.
Malaysia’s Cheah Liek Hou (men’s singles SU5 impairment in upper body), Madzlan Saibon (men’s singles WH2 – impairment in both limbs) and Didin Taresoh (men’s singles SS6 – short stature) also emerged as group champions in their categories to qualify for the elimination round yesterday.