Emma Farnham returns from the Para-Badminton World Championships in Korea with a Silver medal in the Women’s Doubles around her neck.
Having teamed up with Maria Bartusz (Poland) they were to lose their opening match in Group B in three tight sets lasting 37 minutes.
In the opening set they found themselves 7-1 down to the Egyptian pair Yasmina Eissa and Ruhi Satish Shingade and although they temporarily led 11-10 at the interval they dropped the opening set 21-16 but bounced back to control the second winning convincingly 21-12.
Unfortunately, the decider was very much the same as the opening set and the No2 seeds were always trying to play catch-up and the Egyptian pair sealed the match 21-10.
Even though Emma and Maria were to lose the opening set against their next opponents Kobie Jane Donovan and Simone Larsen having pulled back from 19-15 to lose 21-19 the second and third were largely one-way traffic for the Ireland/Poland combination dominating from the outset and winning comprehensively 21-15 21-10
Their final group match was against Randika Doling and Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores and Emma and Maria pulled out all the stops to win this one 21-19 21-17 in 21 minutes to reach the semi-final where they faced the Poland pair Daria Bujnicka and Oliwia Szmigiel.
The match was a tight one though Emma and Maria always had the upper hand and took the opening set 21-13 and the second 21-11 in 19 minutes and although the final was to see a 21-5 21-8 defeat for them at the hands of the top seeded England pair Rebecca Bedford and Rachel Choong their opponents are the outstanding pair in para-badminton.
Teaming up with Peruvian Carmen Giuliana Poveda Flores was a masterstroke for Ireland’s Niall McVeigh as the pair narrowly missed out on reaching the final of the Mixed Doubles in the Short Stature 6 Class in the World Para-Badminton Championships in Korea but return with a much coveted bronze medal.
The pair had been seeded No3 and began their long road to the semi-final with 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 evenly but the No2 seeds gained a 8-4 advantage and proceeded to take the opening set 21-15, though having pulled back to 16-14 McVeigh and Poveda Flores still had their eyes on making the final.
The second set had spectators and colleagues on the edge of their seats as there was nothing between the two partnerships with Niall and Carmen immediately countering a 11-8 deficit to lead 12-11 and again at 13-12.
But when their opponents took a three point lead at 17-14 this was decisive and Morat and Bedford secured their place in the final 21-18 leaving Niall and Carmen with thoughts of what might have been...and of course prized bronze medals.
In the Men’s Singles Niall’s bid for the coveted world title was to end at the hands of the Thailand International champion Chun Yim Wong (Hong Kong) in the quarter-final who was also to end the hopes of the top seeded England pair Krysten Coombs and Jack Shephard from lifting the doubles title in the final.
Such had been Niall’s number of matches during the week plus the never-say-die game that he plays it was always going to tell at some time during the competition and unfortunately it came in that quarter-final against Wong and in both sets the Ireland No1 was unable to close the gap on Wong and he was to finish just short of a bronze medal in the men’s singles.
Piece by Brian Kelly.