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Choong and Bedford claim first gold at World Championships

Rebecca Bedford and Rachel Choong proved their superiority once again as the pair claimed a first medal for England’s para-badminton team at the TOTAL BWF Para-Badminton World Championships.

Bedford and Choong won gold against Canada's Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores and Katherine Valli of the USA in the women’s SS6 doubles final, prevailing 27-25, 21-17 in an impressive display.

“It was our first time playing as a partnership against that pair, and it was hard work,” said Choong.

“It was interesting to learn how they play. It was an enjoyable match.”

While the pair led the way together in the women’s SS6, they will become opponents in the mixed category final on Sunday as they both came through their semi-final ties.

Choong, partnered with Andrew Martin of England, beat Malaysia’s Didin Taresoh and Poland’s Daria Bujnicka 21-9, 21-13 to advance to the final, while Bedford and Robert Laing defeated Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares and Peru’s Rubi Milagros Fernandez Vargas 21-11, 23-25, 23-21 in the other tie.

Choong, who won triple gold at the World Championships in 2015 and 2017, will have a further shot at replicating that  on Sunday as she progressed to the SS6 singles final with a 21-19, 21-12 victory over Valli.

She will face Poveda Flores in Sunday’s showdown, the Canadian having beaten Choong’s doubles partner Bedford 21-5 22-20 in the previous round.

Meanwhile, top seed Jack Shephard continues to lead the way in the men’s SS6 after beating Taresoh 19-21, 21-14, 21-8 in the last eight, before winning 21-13 21-13 against India’s Nagar Krishna to progress to Sunday’s final, where he will face Hong Kong’s Chun Yim Wong.

Krysten Coombs’ run in the category came to an end, with the Englishman losing 21-19, 22-20 to Brazil’s Tavares.

Meanwhile, the wins for England’s para-badminton players continued in the men’s SL3 with Daniel Bethell securing his spot in Sunday’s final.

Second seed Bethell defeated Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara 21-14, 21-15 before seeing off the challenge from Poland’s Ukun Rukaendi 21-15 21-8 to keep his medal hopes alive.

Elsewhere, success in the competition was short-lived for Martin Rooke who was knocked out by Japan’s Atsuya Watanabe in the quarter-final 13-21, 21-14, 21-19.