Golden Johnson takes on dual role

AFTER experiencing individual golden glory here in 2003, Elena Johnson is jumping at the opportunity to double up her duties at the Guernsey 2021 NatWest International Island Games.

Elena Johnson, pictured in action in Gibraltar last year, will take on playing and management duties at Guernsey 2021.
(Picture by Peter Frankland, 27908898)
Elena Johnson, pictured in action in Gibraltar last year, will take on playing and management duties at Guernsey 2021. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 27908898)

Johnson will be player-manager for the coming home spectacle following her appointment by the Guernsey Badminton Association.

Accomplished player Johnson, who earned her maiden individual gold as a 17-year-old at Guernsey 2003, will therefore also perform a key role in squad selection.

And given Guernsey’s particularly strong medal record in badminton, it promises to be an exciting occasion.

‘I’m really looking forward to the Games both in my role as player and as manager,’ said Johnson.

‘This will be the eighth Games I’ve played in so I have a good idea of how it all works, which I hope will prove useful in the role.

‘We have an excellent record of success in the Island Games, winning team gold more often than any other island.

‘Having lost 3-2 in the narrowest of finals to Greenland last year, I would expect us to be seeded No. 2 going into the competition.’

Johnson also has her eye on the mixed doubles, following a stellar showing at Gibraltar 2019 where Guernsey pulled off a spectacular medal clean sweep.

Beyond the gold-medal accomplishments of brother-sister duo Jordan and Emily Trebert, Sarnian pairings also filled the silver and bronze positions.

‘We also had two Guernsey pairs in the final in Gotland, so I hope we can maintain our dominance in that discipline,’ added Johnson.

‘As soon as we’re safe to get going, I’m looking forward to getting our preparation started nice and early.

‘I would say places in the team are wide open so I hope to see players working really hard to earn their spot.

‘Having played in a home Games before, I do think it gives you an advantage.’

True to that claim, Guernsey won every available gold at the last home Games.

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