Niall McVeigh in Irish green at the World Championships 2019 (credit Badminton Photo)
McVeigh battles to escape group
Date: 2/12/2020 11:21 AM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Former World Champion, Niall McVeigh, secures a win to see him through to the men’s singles knock-out stages.

Ireland’s best hope for a Paralympic badminton story comes in the form of SH6 men’s singles star Niall McVeigh. A former World Champion who is sitting on the border of qualification to this summer’s games in Tokyo.

Ranked number nine in the world, McVeigh is currently the sixth placed man in the Paralympic qualifying roster. It will take some impressive performances to make the last slot safe and possibly some luck depending on decisions yet to be made regarding bipartite slots.

Today he faced Dheyvid Bisto De Almeida (BRA), who’s home crowd could not elevate his game enough to trouble the Irishman. McVeigh came through 21-9, 21-10.

The win would be enough to see him through group A, though he had to face Jack Shephard of England later in the day, who has not dropped a game to McVeigh in two years, for a chance to top the group.

That victory remains elusive, the world number one Shephard came through 21-11, 21-18 and both men go on to the knock-out rounds with the Englishman keeping his seeded draw.

Read: Last European Team Championships for Boe

‘Let the ranking points take care of themselves’

We spoke with Niall McVeigh after his two group stage matches today, he had this to say

- I got off to a slow start and made a few errors, but fair play to Jack he came out strong. I played much better in the second and controlled the game, I was leading for most of it but he came back at the end at closed the match. I’m happy with my performance, especially against a tough player like Jack.

- We’re coming towards the end of the qualifying period, just two more tournaments after this one. I’m sitting in sixth qualifying position and I don’t know if I’ll get in, or maybe it will come down to a Wildcard, said McVeigh

- Maybe if I can pull off a big win against one of the seeds this week, it could be a good opportunity here, or in Peru next week, which will help me. Not having Didin Taresoh, (MAS) here, the guy in fifth spot helps me a lot, he added

- Importantly, I need to focus on each game and let the ranking points take care of themselves at the end. All I can do is play well and try to put myself in a good position, said the Irishman

Look out for updates from the Brazil Para badminton International 2020, see tournament software here for draws and results. 

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