“Determined to win” Colin Leslie becomes only Scot to make 4 Nations knockouts

Emotions were high as Scottish Para Badminton legend Colin Leslie booked his place in the quarter-finals of men’s singles SL 3 competition at the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.


Having fallen short in the morning against number two seed Kumar Nitesh in the morning, a dominant performance in the afternoon against Dillaswar Rao Gadela secured Leslie’s place in the last eight.


This performance was even more remarkable considering the extremely difficult few days that Leslie has suffered personally.


“I came off the court very emotional because I’ve just lost my mum and my dad is in hospital,” he said. “That was for them, I won that for them.”


Reflecting on the morning’s defeat, Leslie admitted that he was struggling to remain focused given the circumstances.


“My head wasn’t in it this morning.” He said. “I managed to take ten points from him (Nitesh) in the first set which was nice but my mind just wasn’t on the game.”


“I got a message between the matches though to say my dad was doing a little better so that relaxed me a bit. I then told my coaches I’d win this game, I was determined to win.”


Such an inspirational victory is a story that will inspire para-athletes of all levels, and Leslie is aware of the weight that his achievements can carry beyond himself.


He said. “If any kids were watching, if anyone was watching, they could see that I’m a 53-year-old man without any legs. If I can do that at the top of the sport against some of the best in the world then anyone can.


“I hope that any kids coming through with a disability could see my fight in that game.”


To add even more weight to the victory, Leslie became the only remaining Scottish player left in the tournament. After a period of reflection, this achievement was one of immense pride for him.


“I’ve made my coaches proud and I’m proud of myself. I just hope I’ve done enough for my mum and dad.”

Colin’s family are in everyone at Badminton Scotland’s thoughts at this difficult time.


By Nathan Hassett

Nathan Hassett (@nathanhassett__) / X