2020 has brought a series of challenges for high performance sport. Irish badminton, like the other sports have been working hard during the pandemic to make sure their athletes would be ready when normal international competition resumed.
Competition started again with the Danish Open BWF Tour Super 750 event, followed by the Saarlorlux International BWF Tour Super 100 event in Germany . Ireland have had a successful return to competition with last 8 finishes in Denmark and Last 16 finishes at Germany.
The Irish players were confident going into the Portuguese International following on from the performances in Germany.
There were four Irish representatives come the quarterfinal stage this week at Portuguese International. Rachael Darragh proved to be one of the players on form, having reached the semifinal of both the women’s singles and women’s doubles. Rachael had three wins on route to the semifinal where she lost out to the number one seed Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland.
Rachael was able to go one step further in the doubles with her partner Sara Boyle as they reached the final, with wins against opposition from Portugal, Poland and Scotland.
In the final the Irish faced a second Scottish pair in Holly Newall and Lauren Middleton. The final was a hard-fought battle with the Scottish coming out on top in the end winning a nail biting match 22-20 25-23. The Irish will come home with Silver after a very competitive weeks play in Portugal
“2020 has been a difficult year for both training and competition. I am extremely happy how the Irish athletes have handled their preparations during this pandemic. We have seen a number of strong results since competition has resumed. The results in Denmark, Germany and today in Portugal is down to the hard work from these athletes and the commitment to training they have shown over this period.” High Performance Director Daniel Magee