Two local players, Lucy Dodd and Will Smith, have achieved excellent personal successes in the last month in their respective tournaments.
Following her success at the Under 13 English National Badminton Championships where she obtained a bronze medal in the girls doubles event, with partner Angie Ahu from Yorkshire, Lucy had a successful weekend at the Under 13 Glasgow Youth International Tournament.
She was part of the “Fire Dragons” team that won the Under 13 team event. This team included boys from Cumbria, Yorkshire and Berkshire plus Lucy, her regular doubles partner Angie Zhu from Yorkshire and another girl from Berkshire. They beat teams from Scotland, Milton Keynes and Germany in their group and another Milton Keynes team in the final.
In the main competition on the weekend, Lucy won bronze in both the singles and girls doubles. In the singles she comfortably beat the Scotland no. 2 in the last 16 and the no. 3 seed from Germany in the quarter final, 21-11 in the 3rd end. In the semi-finals, she played Siofra Flynn from Ireland who was too strong for Lucy and went on to win the event.
In the girls doubles, Lucy and Angie won their group and played the no. 1 seeds and eventual winners, Lucy Brierley and Sophie Chong (runners up in Under 13 Nationals) in the semi-final. They were leading 20-18 in the first end, but couldn’t close it out and lost 22-20 and the second end drifted away from them.
Will has been invited to be part of the GB para-badminton training squad and will attend the GB Badminton Training Group which includes 6 training camps throughout the year and will be given access to coaching and physiotherapy at tournaments.
In the men’s singles event in Dubai, Will beat a Ukrainian player who reached the final of the European Para-badminton Championships in 2018 which was a huge achievement. He managed to get out of his group but lost in the last 16 against a very good Chinese player. In the doubles, he managed to win a bronze medal with his new doubles partner, Bobby Griffin, beating the European finalists.
Will’s current World Rankings are 19th in Men’s Doubles and 21st in Men’s Singles. He is hoping to make the Team GB squad for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo and his next tournament is in June 2019 in Ireland.