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Coombs and Shephard lead English charge at World Championships

Krysten Coombs and Jack Shephard led the way for England at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Ulsan, Korea.

In the SS6 men’s doubles, Coombs and Shephard were dominant in their two Group A matches against Indian duo Prabhu Kanamadugu Gowdar and Sunil Pradhan, and the pairing of China's Luo Guangling and Bunthan Yaemmali of Thailand.

Coombs and Shepherd never looked in danger as they recorded 21-6 21-7 and 21-10 21-12 triumphs over the respective pairings, qualifying them for Saturday’s semi-finals.

Also progressing in the SS6 women’s doubles were Rebecca Bedford and Rachel Choong, who conceded just 15 points in two thumping Group A victories.

They defeated Poland’s Daria Bujnicka and Oliwia Szmigiel 21-5 21-4, which followed an even more comprehensive win over Scotland’s Deidre Nagle and Polish partner Weronika Krzeminska 21-5 21-1.

They will take on Randika Doling and Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores in Saturday’s semi-finals. Coombs and Shepherd will find out their semi-final opponents tomorrow.

And their pair enjoyed success in their singles matches, too, with Choong beating Kobie Jane Donovan 21-7 21-3 to make it two wins from two in Group A, while Bedford defeated Simone Emilie Meyer Larsen 21-12 21-6 to also notch two from two in Group B after triumphing earlier in the week against Ireland’s Emma Farnham.

Choong will now face Yasmina Eissa of Egypt in Saturday’s quarter-final, while Bedford will take on Donovan.

In the WH1-2 men’s doubles, Owen Kilburn and Gobi Ranganathan triumphed in two of their three matches to claim second spot in Group H.

Bouncing back from an opening loss against group-toppers Marcelo Alves Conceicao and Atsuya Watanabe, the English pair overpowered Australian duo Grant Manzoney and Duke Trench-Thiedeman 21-8 21-10, and Turkey’s Avni Kertmen and Aslan Sahin 20-22 21-11 21-19.

Elsewhere in the SS6 doubles, Paul Doling and home shuttler Kim Myung Hoon suffered two defeats from their two Group B matches, losing out 21-5 21-3 against Hong Kong’s second seeded Chu Man Kai and Wong Chun Yim.

They followed this with a spirited effort, but still went down 21-14 21-11 to Japan’s Yohei Hatakeyama and Luke Missen of Australia.

Fellow Englishman Andrew Martin, who teamed with American Miles Krajewski, lost two from two in Group C.

Martin and Ranganathan were also defeated in their respective Round 1 singles matches against Chu and Madzlan Saibon.

In the WH1-2 men’s doubles, David Follett and Polish partner Jakub Tomasz Sikorski won one of their three matches, recording a 21-13 21-14 win over French shuttler Sebastien Martin and Finland’s Riku Vihreasaari, but lost their other two group matches to finish third in Group G.

Antony Forster and Scottish partner Colin Leslie were beaten 21-8 21-4 in their second SL3-4 Group G encounter against Indonesian pair Ukun Rukaendi and Hary Susanto, but an earlier 21-9 18-21 21-18 win over Poland’s Denis Grzesiuk and Vietnam’s Trin Anh Tuan to secure progress into the knockout stages.

But their run was ended by Thailand’s Chawarat Kitichokwattana and India’s Umesh Vikram Kumar 21-12 21-13 in the round of 16.

Finally, Bobby Griffin and French shuttler Meril Loquette lost three out of three in Group D of the MD SU5 event, while Sharon Jones-Barnes and Finnish partner Heidi Manninen were beaten in their three WD WH matches in Group E.

Photo: Badminton Wire

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