Turkish Delight for Norfolk Senior Badminton stars

Two of Norfolk’s badminton players travelled to Ankara in Turkey to compete in the World Senior Championships, and both achieved medal success.

In the corresponding tournament two years ago, Eric Plane won the O50 mens doubles title, and supplemented that victory last year by adding European Championships titles in the O50 singles and mixed doubles events. However this time he had to settle for bronze medals, losing to the Danish No 2 seed Martin Olesen in the singles semi-final, and a pair from Thailand in the mixed semi-final with his partner Debbie Rigby.

Louise Culyer who won a silver in the Europeans last year, went one better in the O40 Womens Doubles, winning a silver medal with her partner Karina Bye from Essex, despite what they described as a “rotten draw”. Having beaten the No 3 seeds from Japan in the 2nd round, and then a French pair, they expected to play the top seeded English pair of Middleton & Muggeridge, in the semi-final. But following a somewhat shock defeat for the seeds, Culyer & Bye, faced their conquerors, another Japanese pair. After beating them convincingly they reached the final to play a 3rd Japanese pair.

In a superb final, Culyer & Bye lost the first set, but with the British & Danish supporters cheering them on, they levelled the match by taking the 2nd set. The early stages of the deciding set went against them, but despite being 11-4 down at the change of ends, they clawed their way back into the match, but could not quite recover and just lost 21-19 in the final set, and had to settle for a silver medal, a result which exceeded their expectations. Afterwards they put their success down to a breakfast of omelettes and strong Turkish coffee. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"102","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignnone size-medium wp-image-1284","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"199","alt":"MWC1"}}]] [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"103","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignnone size-medium wp-image-1285","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"224","height":"300","alt":"MWC2"}}]]