Guernsey aiming to be in the medal mix
GUERNSEY'S badminton team enter the home Island Games as second seeds with the aim of going one better.
The Sarnians have claimed a record nine team golds and came so close to making it double figures at Gibraltar 2019, where they lost to Greenland 3-2 in the final.
Greenland return as top seeds and head up Group A in the freshly-announced draw for Guernsey 2023.
Meanwhile the hosts will do battle with Menorca, Gibraltar and Ynys Mon in Group B, from which team manager and experienced player Elena Johnson is hopeful of progressing.
‘As second seeds, we are favourites to progress through our group but Menorca will be our biggest threat,’ she said.
‘They topped the badminton medal table in Gibraltar with golds in the men’s singles and men’s doubles, so we expect the men’s matches to be tough.
‘Our women in the past have been stronger than theirs so we would hope to be able to pick up the women’s rubbers.’
Guernsey faced Menorca in the group stages at Gibraltar and dropped only the men’s singles, which prompted Johnson to add: ‘We hope to be able to come out on top again on home ground.’
Guernsey have beaten Ynys Mon very comfortably in previous meetings, while Gibraltar tend to be mid-table but usually have some players to be wary of.
Johnson says the team’s main hope is to ‘be in the mix for medals’.
‘If we get through our group, I think the semi-finals and final will be exciting matches that can go either way.’
Besides Greenland and Guernsey, the other seeded teams are the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man.
Guernsey beat Faroes in the semis last time out but have not played the Isle of Man as a team for some years, adding to the intrigue.
‘I think there would be very little to decide between these teams, which should make for some very exciting matches, as was the case in Gibraltar,’ Johnson added.