Badminton – the fastest racket sport in the world – throws up an Intenational exhibition in Kilkenny this Sunday afternoon at the Watershed complex in Loughboy ahead of next week’s Carlton Irish Open.
Team Ireland, comprising siblings Chloe, Sam and Joshua Magee alongside Rachael Darragh and Sara Boyle will face a European side which includes Juan Manuel Fernandez Quiles, Javi Sánchez Soler, 2015 Spanish national champion Laura Molina and fellow Spanish champion Haideé Ojeda Garrido.
Chairman of the Leinster Badminton Association Roy Cobbe says they’ve been trying to get an International badminton match outside of Dublin for some time and he spoke to KCLR Sport ahead of Sunday’s fixture which will showcase some of the game’s finest players at national level. Take a listen below.
Sam Magee (25) is a member of the Badminton Ireland elite system. Sam grew up in Raphoe Co. Donegal and was a member of Raphoe Badminton Club. Sam was one of Ireland’s most successful junior Badminton players and cemented his name in history when he claimed gold in the European Junior Championships Men’s Doubles in 2009. Sam has continued this success into Senior Level by winning two bronze medals in the 2015 European Games. Sam now lives in Dublin and trains in the National training centre in Marino Institute of Education
Joshua Magee (20) is the youngest of the famous Magee badminton family from County Donegal. Joshua started his badminton in Raphoe Badminton Club. Joshua now trains full time in Marino Institue of Education. Joshua has represented Riconada badminton club in Spain in the 2015 Spanish league finals and now plays for TV Refrath Badminton Club in Germany along with his brother Sam and Sister Chloe. Joshua big break through in Senior badminton came at the 2015 European Games where he won a bronze medal with his brother Sam in the men’s doubles event.
Rachael Darragh (18) is one of Irelands most successful underage players. Darragh who is a niece of Chloe, Sam and Joshua has followed her families footsteps by moving to train full time in 2015. Since her move Rachael has won double gold medals at the Irish under 19 open. Darragh followed this up with wins on the domestic front at the 2015 Connacht Open and Louth Open. Rachael along with her partner Sara Boyle were two of the youngest players to qualify for the 2015 European Games. Rachael received her first senior cap in 2015 and competed for Ireland in both the European team qualification and final event which was held in Belgium.
Sara Boyle (18) is another very talented player breaking out of the junior ranks into senior badminton. Sara lives in Portmarnock Dublin and is currently studying for her leaving certificate exams. This season Sara has balanced her studies with her competition schedule. Sara has done this well as she took a gold medal in the Irish under 19 open in womens doubles. She followed this success up with Senior wins in singles at the Mount Pleasant and Ulster Open events. At international level Sara qualified for the 2015 European Games and represented Ireland at the European team qualifying and final event in Belgium.
Chloe Magee (26) is one of Irelands most successful senior badminton players having qualified for the last two Oylympic Games. Chloe grew up in Raphoe county Donegal. Chloe has had a number of international wins in both singles and mixed. The multi talented player was key in helping Ireland reach the quarter finals of the 2015 European Team Championships in Belgium. At the 2015 European games Chloe took a bronze in the mixed doubles along with her brother Sam. Chloe along with her brother Sam are now competing on the European and World circuit with a goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.