With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics now just over a year away, the UK’s top Para-Badminton athletes have been getting in some vital championship experience.
The inaugural UK Para-Badminton Championships were held at the weekend at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield and there were some world-class performances across all disciplines.
Reigning world champion in SS6 Men’s Singles, Jack Shephard took the SS6 Mixed Doubles title alongside Rachel Choong beating Isaak Dalglish and Anya Butterworth, 21-12, 21-7.
Shephard was unable to continue with his winning journey though after suffering a bruised back - withdrawing as a precautionary measure with the World Championships coming up in a few weeks’ time. World number two Krysten Coombs and Isaak Dalglish took the crown in the SS6 Men’s Doubles.
Game of Thrones star Coombs also went on to take the SS6 Men’s Singles crown, after Shephard’s retirement.
World number five Martin Rooke continued his great form as he claimed the top spot of the podium in the WH2 Men’s Singles, beating Gobi Ranganathan, 21-10, 21-2.
In the SL3 Men’s Singles, Daniel Bethell, ranked third in the world, overcame Colin Leslie 21-5, 21-16, to be crowned champion.
Head coach Richard Morris said: “The weekend was a huge step forward for growing Para-Badminton in the UK. The support and help we had for the tournament was amazing and made it the tournament it was.
“Some of the badminton throughout the weekend was world-class and it was incredible to see the next generation stepping onto the big stage. A great weekend for me.”
Para-Badminton will make its much-awaited Paralympic debut in Tokyo next summer.
For a full results list, click here.