Thailand preview 1200

7 May, 2023

Expectations are high for the English quartet heading to the Thailand Para Badminton International this week.

After previous events in Spain and Brazil earlier in the season, action heads to Pattaya in what will be the first leg of a busy and hugely competitive double header for the para squad, with a meet in Bahrain to follow.

Fresh from winning bronze at the Brazil Para Badminton International in April, Krysten Coombs will be back in action and he will be joined by Jack Shephard, Rachel Choong and Dan Bethell.

Shephard, Choong and Bethell all chose to skip action in Sao Paulo, and will be back in action having not played since early March.

It will be a chance for all four to earn more ranking points ahead of the Paralympic Games in Paris next summer, with the qualification period now well underway.

All four have medalled early on in a solid start to the qualification period, and the target is to build on that success further over the coming weeks.

“We’ve been away for a while and keeping up our form will be important,” said GB para badminton head coach Rich Morris.

“Jack, Rachel and Dan have all had a really good training block and Krysten returned from Brazil in good shape and has worked hard since then, which has been great.

“We’re playing some of the best badminton we’ve ever played, which has been great, we’ve really developed over the past three or four months.

“We’ve engaged in different training styles and tactics which has been fantastic. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they play.”

The squad will be joined in Pattaya by coach and former Badminton England player Martin Drabble, making his first trip abroad as a part of the para badminton set-up, while Morris will join later in the week alongside some pathway players.

Drabble commented: “It’s my first trip out with the para team – it’s exciting stuff and I’m really looking forward to seeing how everyone does.

“Since I’ve been working with the para players, this has been the best training block leading up to the tournament that I’ve experienced.

“Everyone seems in the best shape I’ve known and I couldn’t be happier with our preparation. I really can’t wait to see them compete with the best players in the world.

“Everyone’s here and it will be great to see the para talent across all the disciplines. A lot of the squad didn’t play in Brazil and it’s been a good couple of months since Spain.

“I really can’t wait to get going on Tuesday.”

You can follow live scores and results from the event here.

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