On Wednesday the 6th of June 5 players and 1 coach from Ireland played this year’s BWF European Disability Badminton Championships In Dortmund Germany.
With Badminton on the potential programme for the 2020 Paralympics competition for medals has never been so high.
In this tournament there were over 100 players from 16 countries across Europe. The Irish team won a total of 4 medals;1 gold 1 silver and 2 bronze.
Michael Smith played WH1 (wheelchair) in both singles and Doubles, Michael was unable to get out of his group due to a tough draw even so Michael had still a very good championship and has gained a lot of experience from playing against top players.
Chris Stewart played in his very first European championships in class WH1 (wheelchair) in both singles and doubles, Chris was also unable to get out of a very tough group but had very good games in his singles, the highlight of his championship was in the doubles were he paired up with English player Dave Follet and they won one game in there group against a pair from Germany.
Emma Farnham also competed in her first European Championships in Short Stature 6 class were she reached the semi-finals of the singles and was knocked out by the World Dwarf games champion Rach Choong in 2 sets, but this was still a great achievement for Emma to win a Bronze at her first European Championships.
Luke Irvine (SS6) had a great Championship although he did not progress out of his group in the singles he did Very well on winning a silver in the doubles with English partner Krysten Coombs they were very close to taking the European crown when they took the World number 1 pair of Andrew Martin and Oliver Clark to 3 sets 21-17 13-21 10-21. There is no doubt that Luke was the most improved player of the Championship.
Niall McVeigh (SS6) – This was Nail’s first tournament since the World Championships in Guatemala, after returning from Australia Niall had only 4 weeks preparation for this tournament even though he was still feeling in good form he knew that the competition was going to be tough.
Niall managed to get through a tough draw by topping his group, this had put him into the semi-finals were he came up against Russian player Alexander Mekhdiev, Niall won this match comfortably 21-8 21-8 and now put him into the final where he now would face number 2 seed Andrew Martin.
This was always going to be a tough match for Niall as Andrew has been on form this season never the less Niall showed great composure and concentration during the match and used his experience to his advantage by winning in 2 sets 21-19 21-15.
This European championships win also adds to his world championships win back in November in Guatemala.Congratulations to Niall and the rest of the Irish team.