Para-badminton Championships 2023: Mullavilly man secures silverware in Glasgow
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Chris, who has been ranked Irish number one for around a decade, won gold in the men’s singles and silver in both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles categories in Scotland.
The tournament, which ran from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26, brought together Physical Disability (PD) and Learning Disability (LD) athletes to play in over 30 events.
Speaking to the Portadown Times, the Mullavilly resident explained: “I am delighted to have won the Wh.1 UK Para-badminton singles title to become the number one in the UK rankings.
"In the singles final, I came up against fellow Ireland teammate, Dean Mccarthy. He hasn’t been playing that long and he has done really well to make the final. If he keeps developing, he will be featuring in many finals and winning medals in the future.
"I am pleased to have won silver in both the doubles and mixed doubles. Thanks to my partners in both disciplines, Michael Smith from Belfast and Fiona Christie from Scotland.
"I have known Michael from school and we have been playing together for a long time. It was Michael who got me involved in the sport over 20 years ago.
"He had competed in track and field events at both the Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000, before a wrist injury made him switch to badminton.
"I had been swimming in my lesiure time, but Michael encouraged me to give badminton a try and I took to it straight away.
"I have also known Fiona for a long time, but this was the first time that we have played together.
"Overall, the team returned home with five gold medals and five silver medals- a fantastic achievement.
"This is the first time I have won a national title. It is a big deal for me and I am so pleased.”
Chris is now taking a well-deserved break over the festive period, before preparations start ahead of the Spanish International in March 2024.
He added: “I train two or three times a week now, not as much as I used to. I do team training at Lisburn Rackets Club and then train independently at the gym and on the roads.
"This was my third time at the championships. I have won silver medals in the mixed doubles and singles before, so to get gold now was third time lucky.
"Coming so close in previous years made me determined to go on and get the gold this time.
"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, including my colleagues at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in Craigavon, where I am an admin officer.
"Work have been really accommodating when it comes to getting time off for the big events. I am delighted to have brought gold home and I am looking forward to participating at events throughout 2024.”