England para badminton stars Rachel Choong [pictured] and Andrew Martin both underlined their ‘top of the tree’ status in the dwarf classes by bagging three Gold medals each at last weekend’s Irish leg of the 4 Nations Parabadminton Series in Belfast.
Martin (Kent) dominated the STD7 Men’s draws, taking the Singles final by overcoming friend and club-mate Ollie Clarke (Kent) 19-21; 21-14; 21-7. Martin then teamed up with Clarke to take the Men’s Doubles final with a comfortable 21-9; 21-7 victory over the Irish pair of Irvine and Kelly.
Meanwhile, Choong (Lancs) twice overcame Ireland’s Deidre Nagle – a 21-11; 21-14 victory in the STD7 Ladies Singles final was followed by a 21-10; 21-13 victory with partner Jenny Greasley (Hants) over Nagle and Farnham (Ireland).
To cap off a perfect weekend for Choong and Martin they also claimed the STD7 Mixed Doubles crown with a 21-9; 21-10 triumph over Clarke and Lucy Wilkinson (Hants).
In the standing categories Graham High (Lancs) claimed ST3-5 Gold in the Men’s Singles with a 21-11; 21-18 win over David Purdie of Ireland. High then later made it a double delight by claiming the combined Men’s Doubles Gold with Niall Jarvie (Scotland), taking the final 21-15 22-20 over Irish pair Purdie and Halpin.
Devon’s Paul Gray was forced to settle for two silvers in the Wheelchair classes, beaten in the final twice by Ireland’s Chris Stewart – 9-21; 10-21 in the Men’s Singles and 17-21; 15-21 in the Men’s Doubles alongside Ireland’s Blaze Hughes.
Disability Manager Tom Webster praised the English players’ commitment:“Some regular 4 Nations series players chose not to play in the Irish Championships, and I think that the English contingent’s success over the weekend shows that they are missing out!
I’m delighted that the competing English players’ commitment has been rewarded with medals.”