3 August, 2023

Jack Shephard and Rachel Choong sealed top spot in their mixed doubles group with an impressive victory on day two of the 4 Nations Para Badminton Tournament in Sheffield.

The SH6 pairing defeated France’s Charles Noakes and Elisa Bujnowskyj 21-14, 21-9 to the delight of the home crowd at the EIS.

Shepard and Choong came out of the blocks firing and never backed down, storming to victory in just 27 minutes to ease themselves into the next stage of competition.

“We’re really happy, we topped the group there so we go through to the next stages,” said Shephard.

“We just need to keep that momentum going and win it.”

Choong added: “It’s nice to make the most of the home advantage. It really does spur us on, on court when we can hear the crowd.”

Both players were soon back on the court to kick-off their singles campaigns, with Choong given a stern test by Peru’s Rubi Milagros Fernandez Vargas.

The 29-year-old won 21-18, 18-21, 21-15, fighting back in the closing stages to clinch the victory and top her group whilst Shephard went on to beat Nilton Quispe Ignacio 21-5, 21-9 in his first singles encounter of the day.

Dan Bethell opened his 4 Nations campaign on winning terms against India’s Umesh Vikram Kumar.

The Paralympic silver medallist and SL3 singles player has made no secret of his ambition to triumph in Sheffield and made a promising start on day two.

Despite a slow start in the opening game, Bethell grabbed a 21-17, 21-9 victory before adding a comfortable win against India’s Nehal Gupta later in the day.

“I wasn’t too happy with my first set as I wasn’t where I needed to be but I got myself going in the second,” he said.

Krysten Coombs saw an unfortunate loss in his second SH6 men’s singles match, narrowly losing out 14-21, 21-14, 16-21 to Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares.

Despite clawing back for a second game win, Coombs was unable to grab the overall victory, finishing second in his group after his day one victory.

Sharon Jones-Barnes was beaten 21-10, 21-9 by Switzerland’s Ilaria Renggli in the women’s WH2 singles while David Follett went down 21-4, 21-8 against Germany’s Thomas Wandschnieder.

The 4 Nations is being held with special thanks to Yonex – the Official Equipment Partner of the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.

A full rundown of all English and international results can be found here.

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