31 July, 2023

England’s stars are set to shine at the upcoming 4 Nations Para Badminton event in Sheffield.

Jack Shepard, Rachel Choong, Krysten Coombs and Dan Bethell will all rally in front of a home crowd at the English Institute for Sport between 2-6 August in a bid to gain valuable points towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The event has been created to bring together the four nations on several key initiatives with the intention of sharing resources, learning and expertise that will enable more people to play badminton, including those with disabilities.

A Level One event on the World Circuit, 4 Nations will be one of the biggest para badminton events to ever take place in Britain, with special thanks to Yonex – the Official Equipment Partner of the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.

Jack Shephard

Sheffield born and bred, Shephard will compete in both the men’s SH6 singles and mixed doubles alongside Rachel Choong.

And with the home advantage on their side for the first time since 2015, the 26-year-old is excited to showcase the talents of English para badminton to his friends and family.

“I’ve grown not too far from the venue, so I’ve got lots of friends and family who I want to come and watch,” he said.

“A lot of our competitions are overseas, so it’s hard for them to come and watch me play live. I’m excited for that part.

“My expectations are as always. I’m going into the tournament looking to win and get some great ranking points towards the qualification for Paris 2024.”

Rachel Choong

Choong recently won two bronze medals at the Canada Open and will be looking to take steps toward her Paralympic dreams at the EIS.

Taking part in the women’s SH6 singles and doubling up with Shepard in the mixed doubles, the World No. 4 is using past success to fuel her ambitions.

She said: I’m trying to use my two bronze medals to fuel me and aim higher in Sheffield.

The fact that it’s in EIS, it’ll be great to still feel at home as well as be competing.

“I try and stay quite present, thinking about the next tournament as it comes, but I do think about what I want to achieve and Paris is definitely the thing that is driving me forward and pushing me, it is my goal throughout all of that.”

Krysten Coombs

World No. 6 Coombs is set to compete in the men’s SH6 singles in Sheffield.

The 32-year-old is thrilled to welcome the world’s best badminton players to England for the prestigious tournament, with it’s Level One status pushing him to prove his potential.

“It’s going to be great to have that home crowd that’s going to be behind us, I really hope that a lot of people in Sheffield will be able to pop their heads in and watch the best para badminton in the world,” he said.

“The Level One of the World Circuit inspires you, you’re more likely to thrive on it, it pushes you more to do well.

“To know that the harder you go in the push, the better you play and the results will be double what you get from most other tournaments.

“This tournament is a big one for me, Paris is obviously the dream and if I can keep doing what I’m doing, that is what the aim is.

Dan Bethell

Bethell is the current world number one in the SL3 men’s singles and will look to dominate once more on the world stage at the 4 Nations.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallist trains day in and day out at the EIS so will feel right at home in Sheffield.

And with three titles already to his name this season, Bethell is eyeing another gold as he takes on the role of home favourite.

“My ultimate goal is to win the tournament,” he said,

“I’ve had a good year so far, so I want to continue that momentum.

“Obviously to win your home tournament is something extra special, maybe compared to the other internationals. Going out there and winning the tournament is my ultimate ambition.

“I have had a good amount of success, winning a few tournaments, so it’s put me in good stead so far. It’s been a long year, qualification year is very tough.”

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