The decision to include the Short Stature Class 6 in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics was a ‘dream come true’ for Niall McVeigh.
The World Para-Badminton Championships in Ulsan, Korea were an excellent starting point for his preparations and although he was to narrowly miss out on a medal in the men’s singles, he brought home a bronze medal in the mixed doubles.
In Niall’s class the men’s singles was won by England’s Jack Shephard with Niall’s old adversary Krysten Coombs runner-up while the men’s doubles title saw Shephard and Coombs eased out by the Hong Kong pair of Man Kai Chu and Chun Yim Wong.
But Niall’s decision to team up with Peruvian, Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores, was a masterstroke as the pair narrowly missed out on reaching the final of the Mixed Doubles and returned with a much coveted bronze.
The pair began with a straight set victories over Alexander Mekhdiev (Russia) and Deirdre Nagle (Scotland), Paul and Randika Doing and the Indian pair Raja Magotra and Ruhi Satish Shingade and although they were to snatch the opening set of their quarter-final 22-20, Niall and Carmen were to storm through 21-13 in the second to book their place in the semi-final.
The opening exchanges against Fabien Morat and Rebecca Bedford were largely shared but the second seeds gained a 8-4 advantage and proceeded to take the opening set 21-15.
The second set saw nothing between them but their opponents eventually secured their place in the final (21-18) leaving Niall and Carmen with thoughts of what might have been.
In the Men’s Singles Niall’s bid to regain the coveted world title was to end at the hands of the Thailand International champion, Chun Yim Wong (Hong Kong), in the quarter-final.
Such had been Niall’s number of matches during the week, it was always going to tell at some time and unfortunately it came in that quarter-final against Wong as he finished just short of a bronze.