Scotland took a 9-player strong squad over to the new Indoor National Sports Arena in Dublin this weekend with hopes of bettering their three bronze medals at the Spanish in March. Not only did they better this they trebled their medal count in what has to be their most successful International in recent years.
Scotland had three players playing in the SL3 men’s singles category with Alan Oliver, Colin Leslie and Niall Jarvie all looking to medal. Alan’s dreams were dashed with the eventual two finalists both in his pool, he was very close in both matches taking the eventual winner and runner up to three sets, leaving him 3rd in his group. Niall Jarvie was unable to progress out of his pool losing to much improved players in his class. Our bronze medal came from Colin Leslie who came second in his group only losing to the ¾ seed. He progressed out of his pool and successfully overcame Meepian Subpong from Thailand in a convincing two sets in the quarter finals before falling to the eventual winner Kumar Nitesh from India in the semi-finals.
In the SS6 category we had Bobby Laing and Deirdre Nagle competing in the men’s and women’s events respectfully. Bobby was able to move forward to the quarter finals after coming second in his pool only losing out to England’s experienced Andrew Martin, before falling to second seed Chun Yim Wong in the quarter finals. Competing in one pool Deirdre had a difficult task playing world number 1 and 2 and was unable to get into a medal position.
In SL4 category we had David Purdie, Jamie Munro and Mary Wilson competing in the men’s and women’s singles event. David and Jamie, competing in a very tough category, were unable to secure a place out of their pools but showed improvements when playing versus some of the world’s best. Mary was able to come out of her pool with a win versus Thailand’s Darunee Henpraiwan but fell in the quarter finals to France’s Veronique Braud.
Finally, in WH2 women’s singles Fiona Christie had a very close pool with a three-way count back unfortunately putting her out of the running.
The doubles and mixed events were where Scotland really put their mark with 6 out of our 7 medals coming from the doubles and mixed categories. In the SL3-SL4 men’s doubles Alan Oliver and English Partner Antony Forester were able to secure their first international medal with an impressive win over European silver medallist’s Marcel Adam and Simon Cruz Monejar in their group followed by a quarter final win over Bob Beismans and Tim Haller. They fell in the semi-finals to eventual winners and world number one from France Matthieu Thomas and Lucas Mazur. Colin Leslie and David Purdie were our other pair along with Niall Jarvie and Ireland’s Stephen Halpin who all failed to reach the knock out stages.
Sl3-SU5 women’s doubles saw Mary Wilson and Russia’s Natalia Iremachueck secure their second bronze in their two tournaments playing together putting up a stellar performance against France who narrowly beat them to the silver medal.
In SS6 doubles Bobby Laing and England’s Isaak Dalglish put up an incredible performance to come out second in their group and reaching the semi-finals before falling to England’s top seeded Krysten Coombs and Jack Sheppard.
In WH1/2 women’s doubles Fiona and Ireland’s Laura-Lee Jenkins were also able to secure their first international medal after coming second in their pool losing out only to the eventual Thai winners, they secured a place in the semi-finals being beaten by Switzerland’s Karin Suter-Earth and Cynthia Mathez.
In the mixed doubles event our medals came from Mary Wilson partnering England’s Antony Forester in the SL3-SU5 event losing out to Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom and Seansupa Nipada in the semi-finals and Deirdre Nagle with Russia’s Alexander Mekhdiev losing out to England’s World number 1 and 2 pair Rachel Choong with Andrew Martin and Rebecca Bedford with Ollie Clark.
With Para-Badminton taking part in the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 and the standard of players continually rising it is an excellent achievement to come home with 7 medals at such a strong event.