Five English shuttlers up for Thailand challenge
Badminton

Five English shuttlers up for Thailand challenge


A five-strong English squad are primed to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings and face a fearsome international field at the Thailand Para Badminton International.

Jack Shephard, Rachel Choong, Kristen Coombs and Isaak Dalglish will all vie for medals at SH6 alongside Daniel Bethell in the SL3 classification.

November’s BWF World Championships in Tokyo is the pinnacle event of the year but with no entry restrictions per nation, the fields will actually be stronger in Pattaya this week.

“We’ve trained for this like a World Championships,” said para-badminton head coach Richard Morris.

“We’re looking for performances from the guys, they’re all in different stages of their development leading into Paris. They’ll all be looking to reach their individual milestones.”

England arrive in fine form having won seven medals at last month’s inaugural 4 Nations International, with Paralympic medallist Bethell striking gold in Dublin.

Pattaya is a totally new prospect for the squad with the event traditionally staged in the Thai capital Bangkok.

Next year’s BWF World Championships will be staged in Pattaya, giving players and staff a good chance to familiarise themselves with conditions.

“We’ve never played here before,” said Morris. “We had our first hit in the hall on Sunday and that was it.

“It’s the same for everyone, nobody’s ever been before, so we’re all in the same boat and it will be race of who can adapt the quickest

“It’s quite drifty in the hall. There will be a chance of some upsets in the early rounds as people get settled so hitting the ground running will be vital.

“I fancy our chances. All of the guys are really adaptable and play in these kind of conditions at home, they’re fully prepared to do well here.”





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