Coombs Brazil 1200 1

16 April, 2023

Krysten Coombs heads home from Sao Paulo with a bronze medal from the Brazil Para Badminton International 2023.

It was a strong week for the world No. 5, who won four straight-game matches before a three-game loss to world No.1 Chu Man Kai in the last four on Saturday.

One of the top four seeds in Sao Paulo, the 32-year-old eased through contests against Yoelvis Rodriguez and Renne Leite Carmo De Souza in his initial pool to reach the knockout stages.

South Korea’s Lee Daesung awaited in the round of 16 but Coombs impressively navigated his first real test of the competition, with a 21-12 21-16 victory sending him through to the last eight.

The English star was then handed a tough quarter-final against world No.18 Miles Krajewski, the 17-year-old widely considered one the best prospects in the SH6 classification.

Coombs needed all his might and experience to prevail in a hard-fought contest, progressing to the semi-final thanks to a 21-19 21-18 triumph.

His campaign came to an end in the last four against Chu, who rallied from a game down to beat the Paralympic bronze medallist 17-21 21-18 21-15.

However, there were still undoubtedly positives for him to take after a strong campaign.

“Krysten had a solid start with a less challenging box, but had a tough opponent in Daesung in the last 16 which he made very light work of, and did really well,” said para head coach Rich Morris.

“He then had Krajewski, who’s really up and coming, and beat him in two games to play Chu Man Kai – who’s currently the world No.1 and world champion.

“We narrowly lost out 21-15 in the third, but Krysten played some really good badminton and there were some good solid signs of performance going forward.

“We can really hold that momentum going back into training as we’ve only got two weeks before we head out to Thailand.

“It was a really solid performance and to lose to the world No.1 is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Alongside Coombs, pathway players Will Smith, Sean O’Sullivan and David Follett were also competing in Sao Paulo.

Smith had a particularly notable week, with the world No.19 pushing two higher-ranked opponents to the limit during his campaign in the SL3 classification.

After starting with a comprehensive straight-games win over Serafim Eudes De Oliveira Marcelo, Smith then impressed against world No.11 William Roussy despite a 21-23 21-9 21-19 loss.

And the Englishman was involved in another incredibly tight contest in his next round, falling to world No.4 Daisuke Fujihara 21-11 21-23 21-19 as his campaign came to a close.

Follett and O’Sullivan had tougher experiences in Sao Paulo with defeats in all their matches, though all three certainly made the most of their opportunity to compete.

Morris added: “As a team, to have the pathway here was a great little touch to the week. Watching Will, Sean and Dave compete with the biggest players and with the guys that are trying to qualify for Paris is a proud moment for me as a coach.

“I must highlight Will Smith losing 21-19 in the third to William Roussy and to Daisuke Fujihara, who is fourth in the world. They were two solid performances and he was unlucky to not win one of them.”

The squad will now be gearing up for the Thailand Para Badminton International 2023, which takes place in Pattaya next month.

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