Johnson not giving up on sixth Games

COMMONWEALTH GAMES badminton hopefuls are not giving up on gaining a place in Birmingham next summer.

Elena Johnson and Chloe Le Tissier in action at the Gibraltar 2019 Island Games. Both have targeted selection for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30233487)
Elena Johnson and Chloe Le Tissier in action at the Gibraltar 2019 Island Games. Both have targeted selection for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30233487)

Due to Covid, domestic players have faced a curtailed qualifying window. The sport’s organisers can, nevertheless, nominate players based on factors such as 2021 tournaments, England rankings and Gold Coast 2018 results.

‘With the qualifying period coming to an end, we will have to demonstrate as best we can that we are of the standard to gain selection based on what we have been able to do, and this will be the same for a number of other sports,’ said five-times Commonwealth player Elena Johnson, who sealed a mixed doubles title at the Dorset Senior Silver Tournament partnering Middlesex teammate Dinuka Karunaratne.

After a close battle in the first game of their quarter-final, Johnson and Karunaratne moved onto the semi-final stage with a 21-17, 21-9 win over the Trebert siblings Jordan and Emily.

Karunaratne, who is aiming to represent his home nation of Sri Lanka in his fifth Commonwealth Games, and Johnson went on to defeat Koon Fung Kelvin Ho and Vanessa Chien to set up a final with top seeds David Maughan and Emily Witts.

In the final match of the tournament, Johnson and Karunaratne took the first game convincingly but their opponents stepped up a level and made them work hard to eventually claim the title 21-14, 22-20.

Other highlights included Jordan Trebert and Stuart Hardy defeating the men’s doubles 3/4 seeds and following that up with another win to progress through their group to the quarter-final stages.

They put in a good performance in the quarters, but were unable to make it further.

Emily Trebert and partner Karen Feng won through their group to the quarter-final stage in the women’s doubles, while Johnson and Chloe Le Tissier were able to follow up their recent success in reaching the semi-finals of the Northumberland Silver with another semi-final finish.

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