England’s Para Badminton squad made their mark in the final qualification event for Tokyo, winning two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
With now less than 100 days to go until the Games, this week gave the team a chance to assess their performance levels and show the world what they can do.
An all-English final in the SH6 men’s singles was an incredibly closely fought affair, with Krysten Coombs claiming victory over teammate and top seed Jack Shephard, winning 23-21, 23-21.
Coombs had also beat teammate Isaak Dalglish in the semi-final a day earlier – however what a week it was for Dalglish who has only been on the England programme for one month.
He saw off numerous higher ranked players and it was clear to see the training efforts that he has made at the EIS in Sheffield over recent months.
Head Coach, Rich Morris, said: “The SH6 boys did themselves proud this week. All top athletes work hard but they did it together so they could beat the rest of the world and that is exactly what they did.
“Only losing to each other was the goal for this tournament so we are happy we achieved that.”
In the SL3 men’s singles final, Daniel Bethell put in a standout performance to claim the gold medal, beating Thailand’s Mongkhon Bunsun, 21-4, 21-9 in just 36 minutes.
“Danny was another level this week,” said Morris.
“He has showed this level in training, but we haven’t seen it properly in a tournament, but this week was a clear message to the rest of the world.
“Danny wants one thing and it isn’t a bronze or silver at the Games – I am excited!”
However, there was disappointment for Martin Rooke, who had to withdraw from the tournament through injury.
Morris added: “I was gutted for Rooke. He always wants to play, and it was a difficult decision for me to withdraw him in this last qualification tournament but it was for his safety.
“I am very proud of all their performances this week but even more so their preparation for this event.
“To come here under the circumstances in the shape they are in, was an achievement in itself.”