Krysten Coombs has experienced the full range of emotions the Paralympics can offer after beating teammate Jack Shephard before losing her second match in Tokyo 2020.
The two Britons are close friends, but met each other in the SH6 Group A men’s singles match, and Coombs came out on top, winning the first game 21-12 after taking advantage of the unusual mistakes of World No. 1 tennis player Shephard.
Shephard struggled to get back into the competition, but Coombs came together strongly to finish the second game 21-12 and seal a direct win in sets at Yoyogi National Stadium.
Coombs ’joy was short-lived as he failed to achieve two wins in the turn, succumbing to a 21-15 21-10 result from Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai, but he was still pleased with his performance.
“I just couldn’t get the last thing that would lead me to victory. I am satisfied with how I played. I did my best and that is the most important thing “, said Coombs at the end of his two matches.
Reflecting on his quarrel with Shephard, the 30-year-old said: “It was amazing to just experience the whole thing, come here and be able to compete in the stadium, and be able to do it with one of my best friends.
“We knew it was going to be hard that we were going to have to play against each other in the first game, but I think it’s just amazing that we can both be together.
“We said that at the beginning, we’re in this group together, so we’re both going to go through this group.”
– ParalympicsGB (@ParalympicsGB) September 2, 2021
Both ParalympicsGB stars can reach the semifinals of the weekend if two players advance from a group of three.
However, Shephard must defeat Coombs’ conqueror Chu to have a chance to qualify, and Group A will potentially decide the countdown.
And the 24-year-old enjoyed the opportunity to play in the Paralympic Games while making his sporting debut in Japan.
He said: “It’s absolutely amazing, it was my dream – and I’m sure there are Coombs too – to be here for a long time and the day has come. It’s a very special feeling to play in the Paralympic Games. ”
After Daniel Bethell cleared the track as the first Paralympic GB badminton player yesterday, it was Martin Rooke’s turn to wave the flag as the first Briton in the WH2 tournament.
And the 48-year-old got off to a fantastic start, recovering from a loss in the first game 18-21 by Thai Dumnern Junthong, to take a 2-1 victory in the next two 21-15 21-12 and open his account in Group B.
After a nervous first set, Rooke can be sure knowing that the win secured him a place in the quarterfinals along with his next opponent, Chinese Mai Jianpeng.
“Obviously the nerves played a big part in my first set, I was a little nervous, I didn’t adjust to the conditions as quickly as I should have and when I got rid of the nerves, I relaxed,” he said.
“I knew I could get through and it was all about being calm and just taking my time and doing what I wanted and not worrying about what he was doing.
“Being here is amazing. How can you put it into words?
“Like all of us, Daniel is the first SL3, I am the first WH2 in Britain to enter the Paralympic Games. What an honor. ”
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