Laing Strikes Gold in Ireland

A team of nine plus coach Kaity Hall headed out to Dublin for the FZ Forza Irish Para-Badminton International held at the National Sports Arena Blanchardstown.

There were representatives in four out of the six classes with Colin Leslie and Alan Oliver in SL3, David Purdie and Mary Wilson in SL4, Fiona Christie in WH2 and in SS6 Bobby Laing, Deirdre Nagle, Andrew Davis and Jack Purvis, who was making his international debut.

Bobby Laing proved Scotland’s most successful athlete with a gold medal in the mixed doubles SS6 event partnering England’s Rebecca Bedford.

After a shaky start in the group stages the new pair overcame second seeds Miles Krajewski and Kathrine Valli from the USA in a convincing 21-5, 21-4 win to secure a place in the semi finals against top seeds Niall McVeigh of Ireland and Carmen Flores of Peru.

In this thrilling three-setter Bobby and Rebecca came out on top 21-11, 16-21, 23-21 to set up a final clash against unseeded Isaak Dalglish of England and Oliwia Szmigiel of Poland.

In the end the Anglo-Scottish duo came out as victors in a convincing 21-13, 21-15 finish, securing a first international gold medal for the pair and a first ever gold for Bobby.

Scotland’s other successes came in the form of two bronze medals in the women’s WH1/WH2 doubles and SL3-SU5 women’s doubles.

Playing with Canadian Yuko Chokyu, Fiona Christie overcame Russia’s Liusia Ignatenko and Irina Kuzmenko 21-13, 21-17 to secure their WH1/WH2 women’s doubles bronze medal.

And mary Wilson, partnering Veronique Braud of France, defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Oginskaya and Vita Vimba 21-13, 21-11 and Australia’s Caitlin Dransfeld and Celine Vinot 21-9, 21-12 to come away with the bronze medal in the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles.

Other members of the squad were very close in reaching the knock out stages of their respective events.

Andrew Davies was edged out in the last 16 of the SS6 men’s singles 21-8, 21-7 by England’s Isaak Dalglish, as was Bobby Laing in an extremely close battle with England’s Andrew Martin 26-24, 21-16.

In the Men’s SL3 singles Colin Leslie reached the quarter final stages before being put out by France’s Matthieu Thomas 21-4, 21-4 and in the men’s doubles SL3-SL4 Alan Oliver and Sweden’s Rickard Nilsson were defeated in the quarter finals by Indonesians Dwiyoko Dwiyoko and Fredy Setiawan 21-6, 21-12.

Finally, in the WH1/WH2 mixed doubles Fiona Christie, partnering Finland Timo Villanen, defeated the top seeds in the group stages before losing out in the quarter finals to Israel’ s Amir Levi and Nina Gorodetzky 21-16 21-17.

Full results are at www.tournamentsoftware.com and match footage is on Badminton Ireland’s YouTube channel

Report and photos courtesy of Kaity Hall