Dan Bethell 1200

World number one Dan Bethell believes he has not yet reached his full potential in the hunt for World Championship gold.

The 28-year-old was unbeaten throughout 2023, clinching his fourth European title as part of what the SL3 star credits as his ‘best year of his career’ to date.

But with World Championship and Paralympic titles still alluding him, Bethell will take to the court at the Para Badminton World Championships in Thailand ready to unleash his peak performance.

“I don’t feel like I’ve reached my full potential yet,” he said.

“I don’t feel like I’ve peaked so it’s all about continuing to work forwards and get those big results.

“Obviously I’m really happy with the year I had and winning the titles that I did, but what is left on my radar is to become world champion and become Paralympic champion.

“That drives me to continue training and not getting complacent because no-one is ever unbeatable.

“You’ve got to keep looking to improve and to make sure that come those two events, I’ll be ready to take off there as well.”

Bethell stormed to his first European singles title since 2018 last year with a comfortable 21-4 21-12 victory over Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov.

Add that to his 4 Nations Para Badminton title and plethora of victories in 2023 and the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist was in a league of his own on the court.

“Results wise, 2023 was the best year of my career,” he said.

“It was a really strong year for me because I didn’t lose a match so I can’t really complain and I became European champion for the fourth time.

“It was just a really good year and to do it in qualifying year as well, it’s given me a really good foundation to go for the World Championships and the Paralympic Games later on.”

The Para Badminton World Championships will take place between February 20-25 with Bethell eyeing up his maiden title in the men’s SL3 singles.

His previous efforts in 2015 and 2019 have been thwarted by rival and Olympic champion Pramod Bhagat from India, but a 21-17 21-8 victory over Bhagat at the recent Dubai International will act as the much-needed confidence boost heading into the competition.

And with the Paralympic Games on the horizon this summer, the badminton ace is eager to lay down a marker as he looks to ellipse his already golden 2023.

“My prep for Thailand has been going really well,” he added.

“I came out of my tournament in Dubai with a great result but we’ve definitely picked out a few bits that we want to work on to get a lot stronger.

“So training is going really good and I’m feeling better than I ever have.

“Going for that gold is really important. I want to become more champion but also put down a marker for the Games in August.

“I want to make sure that when I go there, I’ve had a strong performance at the world championships to set myself up in the best shape possible for Paris.”

Squad for the 2024 NSDF Royal Beach Cliff BWF Para Badminton World Championships:

Rachel Choong

Sharon Jones-Barnes

Jack Wilson (Wales)

Krysten Coombs

Daniel Bethell

Owen Kilburn

Gobi Ranganathan

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