Faustine Noel and Lucas Mazur at the European Championships last year (credit Badminton Photo)

All paths lead to Tokyo for SL4 Noel

12/27/2019 9:01 AM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Faustine Noel may be the only European to qualify for all three Paralympic events at Tokyo 2020

French woman Faustine Noel is within the top ten of the Road to Tokyo ranking lists for women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles. 

With only one player/pair per country, per event eligible to compete at the Paralympics next summer, her current status would make her the only European to achieve this if things remain this way throughout the remaining qualification period.

This would be a remarkable achievement for the 26 year old shuttler from Nantes, who trains in Rennes with her Para badminton coach, and celebrates her birthday on Christmas Day.

Arguably her strongest event is the mixed doubles, with French partner SL4 star Lucas Mazur, who currently leads the pack in men’s singles. He is World Champion and has been world number one for a number of years now, Mazur will be strong favourite for the men’s singles Paralympic gold.

Their toughest test will be overcoming Indonesia’s Harry Susanto and Leani Ratri Oktila, who will be top seeds for the mixed doubles title. Oktila will have a good chance of taking the triple crown in Tokyo

‘Right now I must stay focused’

We spoke with Faustine Noel this week about how she became involved in Para badminton and what her focus is this year.

- I’ve been playing badminton since I was eleven years old, but only been in Para badminton for five years. It started with my father who still plays, though I don’t have much time to play with the family any more, as I’m training full time in another city in France, she said

- I am focusing now on the mixed and women’s doubles, because that is the best chance of qualifying for the Paralympics next year. There is a lot more pressure these days, but I try to ensure that I enjoy playing as much as I ever have, Noel added

We asked the French star what it means to qualify for the Paralympics, and her chances of medals next year

- I think for anyone to reach the Paralympics it would be an amazing thing. I am not sure how I am going to feel if I make it, right now I am trying to stay focused on the performances, but I am looking forward to finding out what that feeling will be if it happens, she said

- I think we have a chance at medals next year, yes, maybe two. Who knows! Added Faustine

Look out for more Para badminton reviews of the different sport classes this week across our platforms 

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