Three of Scotland’s top disability badminton players have kicked off their bid for Paralympic qualification this week at the 5th Turkish Para-Badminton International, being held in Antalya.
Lesley Johnstone, Alan Oliver and Mary Wilson are all hoping to qualify to represent Team GB in Tokyo next year when badminton makes its debut in the Paralympic Games, but have so far endured a difficult start to their qualification bid.
Johnstone and her Polish partner Denis Grzesiuk faced a difficult opening in their SL3-SU5 mixed doubles campaign on Monday, going down to defeat to the French joint 3/4 seeds Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel.
That was followed up by another defeat, this time to Liek Hou Cheah of Malaysia and Grzesiuk’s compatriot Katarzyna Ziebik which ended their mixed doubles campaign.
Also on Monday, Oliver lost to Cuban Rolando Rodriguez 22-20 21-16 in his first match in Group H of the SL3 men’s singles.
Tuesday saw Wilson knocked out of the SL4 women’s singles when she lost both her group matches against quality opposition, and Lesley Johnston lost her opening singles match, although she has another group match to play.
And Oliver’s singles campaign was brought to an end today when he was beaten by joint fifth seed Kumar Nitesh, having also lost to Bob Biesmans yesterday (Tuesday).
Oliver still has SL3-SL4 men’s doubles to play for, where he partners Swede Rickard Nilsson and Johnstone and Wilson will team up in Group A of the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles.
Results, scores and draws at www.tournamentsoftware.com
The National Disability Badminton Squad is looking for sparrers to help our Paralympic hopefuls in their training. Men and women of all ages who play at club or county level would be welcome. If interested, contact Sarah Bok on firstname.lastname@example.org