Dalgish Coombs World Champs 1200x410 1

November 1, 2022

The BWF Para-Badminton World Championships returns after three years away and there will be several English stars hunting a medal in Tokyo.

Originally scheduled to take place 12 months ago, the championships will finally take place in the Yoyogi National Gymnasium – where Paralympic action took place last summer.

Across the classifications, there will be 22 events taking place, with a strong England contingent in action, most notably Jack Shephard, Krysten Coombs and Rachel Choong – all past or current SH6 world champions.

Seven-time world medallist Shephard will be looking to win a third straight men’s singles title after triumphing in Ulsan in 2017 and Basel in 2019.

He said: “I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get out there now and play another World Championships. I’m the reigning world champion for the previous two times in singles so I’m really excited, I love going to the worlds.

“Coming into the World Championships the coaches have been really good, lots of information taken on, and my game is really coming together. It’s just about adding the final touches, but I just can’t wait to get out and perform.”

Coombs, who was beaten by Shephard in the 2017 singles final and won doubles gold alongside his compatriot in 2015, will be in singles action this year.

“It’s been a great block of training up to the worlds,” said Coombs.

“I’m feeling really good, practice is going well and obviously I medalled at the Paralympic Games in the venue, and we’re in the same venue for the Champs so hopefully I can bring home another medal.

“For me, I made the quarters last time. I think I’ve got a nice feeling that with the way I’m playing at the moment that I can do better than that. A final is the aim for me and to win it would be a dream.”

Choong will be in SH6 women’s singles and mixed doubles action, having won ten gold and one silver medal from her previous World Championship efforts.

She said: “I’m really excited to go. It will be in the stadium where we had the Tokyo Games. I wasn’t able to go to the Games and compete so I’m really looking forward to this, this will be my alternative experience.

“This has been a seven-week training block for us, which is the longest training block that I’ve had since joining the programme. It’s been tough, quite challenging to keep going, but I think I’ve made some good progress since the last tournament so I’m quite excited to see us implement that.”

SL3 Paralympic silver medallist and world No.1 Dan Bethell has unfortunately had to withdraw from the event after sustaining a knee injury in training, though Isaak Dalglish will join Shephard, Coombs and Choong in the SH6 classification.

Outside of the Para-Badminton GB set-up, a select number of rising talent from the Badminton England pathway will also be in Tokyo.

“It will be amazing to see some of our pathway players playing at the World Championships, seeing them on the big stage bashing it against the best in the world,” said GB para-badminton head coach Rich Morris, who has been overseeing preparations for the event.

“For them to get that same exposure on the world stage is massive for their development and their drive to become world champions themselves.

“There’s huge excitement for the event. It’s probably the biggest tournament in the calendar for all sports and that’s no different for para-badminton so everyone is keen to go toe to toe with the best in the world to see who can come out on top.

“I’ve never seen Rachel, Jack and Krysten play better badminton than they’ve played this week. I have expectations that they will perform on the big stage and I hope that performance turns into a nice colour medal.”

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