The two players that beat Emma Farnham in the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Dortmund two years ago will be the players to beat at this weekend’s World Championships in Stoke Madeville.
Emma returned from Dortmund ‘over the moon’ with her bronze but will want to go further this time.
English No1 Rachel Choong won Gold in Germany and Emma was the first to admit she really didn’t do herself justice in the clash against Choong losing 21-3 21-3 in just 16 minutes or in losing to Rebecca Bedford 21-17 21-7.
Emma put those two defeats behind her recovering to record a 21-17 21-15 victory over Germany;s Anna Spindelndreier and was a 21-13 21-18 victor over Milena Hoffman.
In the Mixed Doubles and partnering Luke Irvine, Emma played a significant role in the Alpha pair dominating the proceedings against Scotland’s Robert Laing and Anna Spindelndreier (Germany) coming through 21-6 21-9.
They followed it up with a 35 minute titanic struggle against Isaak Dalglish and Milena Hoffman coming back from one set down to win in the decider 21-14.
To have been beaten in straight sets by Andrew Martin and Rachel Choong in 19 minutes was no disgrace as they were unbeaten and lifted the title.
However Emma told the Ulster Star that she was “eagerly looking forward to the World Championships where the entry of six girls will be an improvement on previous competitions and I will be competing on a level footing in the SS6 Group.”
All too often in the past because of a shortage of women in the competition Emma has been included alongside the men.
For example in the recent Irish International Emma came up against Isaak Dalglish and one of the top players in the category Krysten Coombs.
Losing to Coombs 21-5 21-6 is no disgrace as he regularly clashes with Ireland’s own world champion in various competitions.
World Champion Niall McVeigh is full of praise for how well Emma has been playing in the run-up to the Championships in Stoke Mandeville and is confident that she can press the top two English women Rachel Choong and Rebecca Bedford “with a little luck”.
Chris Stewart and Michael Smith will again be very much up against it in the Wheelchair competitions – they won silver in the recent 4 nations in Scotland .
Stephen Halpin reached the quarters in Dortmund and Andrew Moorcroft will undoubtedly give his all in the Short Stature Class 6 which must surely be one of the most competitive of all the classes.
The Scottish 4 nations was the first tournament in three years for Laura Lee Jenkins and she has been doing well recently and will hope to figure in the later stages. Ireland’s adopted Scot Niall Jarvie will be keen to perform well in the World Championships.