20 August, 2023
Jack Shephard roared to a dazzling double gold on the final day of the European Para Badminton Championships in Rotterdam.
Dan Bethell and Rachel Choong were also amongst the winners at the Rotterdam Ahoy, as the English squad claimed a 10-strong medal haul.
In the SH6 mixed doubles final, Shephard and Choong struck gold.
The pair beat compatriot Krysten Coombs, who had teamed up with Poland’s Oliwia Szmigiel, 21-16, 21-11 in the final, the second time the pairs had come up against each other in the tournament.
Known for the strength of their partnerships, Shephard and Choong needed just 28 minutes to secure the win.
Shephard went on to add to his golden collection with a dramatic victory over France’s Charles Noakes in the SH6 men’s singles.
A tough match, the 26-year-old battled hard to take the win 23-21, 17-21, 22-20.
Shephard was forced into a decider by Noakes, who produced a brilliant second game performance, but it was the Englishman who came out on top.
Coombs and Isaac Maison both clinched bronze in the same event.
Choong was also forced into a third set in her SH6 women’s singles final but was unable to overcome Szmigiel in the battle for gold.
The world number four won the opener 21-11 before losing the second game 21-15.
In a thrilling third, Szmigiel got her revenge for the doubles final and clinched a 21-18 win to take the gold whilst Choong had to settle for silver.
Bethell continued to prove his strength as world number one with an incredible victory in the SL3 men’s singles.
The Olympic silver medallist triumphed over Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov in Rotterdam, comfortably winning 21-4, 21-12.
It was a powerful performance for Bethell, who grabbed 13 consecutive points in his first game to set the tone.
Bethell had earlier beaten fellow Englishman William Smith 21-7, 21-11 in the semi-final, Smith grabbing bronze with the loss before clinching a silver medal in the SL3-SL4 men’s doubles alongside Sweden’s Rickard Nilsson.
In the men’s SU5, Robert Donald had a brilliant run to the semi-final before losing out to Poland’s Bartlomiej Mroz.
Donald fought back in the first game but lost 21-14, 21-10 in Rotterdam, clinching a bronze medal to add to England’s medal haul
Donald clinched a second bronze after losing out in the men’s doubles semi-final alongside Sean O’Sullivan.