Wednesday 25 April 2018

No pressure -- only a world champion to beat

Edel O'Connell

IRELAND'S badminton Olympic hopeful Scott Evans first picked up a racquet at the age of five with a mission to one day beat his older brother.

Today, the 24-year-old, from Dundrum, Co Dublin, will face the toughest game of his career when he takes on the reigning world champion.

The badminton player has competitive blood in his veins. His father Martyn played badminton for Wales at junior level and Scott's formative years were spent playing with his brother Lee, who is two years older, in Taney National School in South Dublin.

At Wesley College he also took to hockey and football, but at 16 he decided to dedicate himself to badminton, winning his first cap for Ireland against Greece at 17. In 2005 he moved to Denmark to train and there he joined Greve BC before moving to Gentofte, where he is now based.

This will be Scott's second Olympics -- in Beijing 2008 he became the first Irish male to qualify from his sport. The Ireland men's number one has drawn reigning world and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China for his opening group match in the men's badminton singles for this year's Games. It could not have been tougher draw for Evans, who is ranked world number 76.

Lin is widely regarded as one of the greatest badminton players of all time. Scott's mum Cheryl said: "There is less expectation on him now because of the way the draw went, so what he's got to do is just go out there and give it all he has got and fight."

Irish Independent

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