Badminton Life

Magee Heads to Beijing

Ireland may only be a small nation but it has had a huge impact upon the world and the people are rightly proud of its inhabitants and their triumphs.

There may not be too many hopes and expectations placed upon the Irish athletes heading to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games but there is an immense pride in the players selected to do their best for the nation. The sport of badminton is included in the Irish party heading to the Far East and it has just been announced that 19 year old Chloe Magee, from Raphoe, will be representing Ireland this summer.

The youngster, who is currently based in Sweden currently stands as the 65th best badminton player in the world and sits proudly in Europe's top thirty. This is no mean feat considering the level of opposition and the paucity of funding behind her but there is no doubt that the youngster is there on merit.

The past two years have featured a lot of hard training and many draining matches but at this point all the hard work and effort will have been deemed worth it as Magee looks forward to her trip east. Magee comes from a large family in Ireland, with there being eight children and no doubt all of them will be extremely proud of her as she represents not only them but the hopes of the Irish nation in China.

Ireland currently has 34 athletes heading to the Olympic Games and another badminton representative will be Scott Evans. The Dublin based player has been in fine form in 2008 and will no doubt be looking forward to pitting his wits against the cream of the sports stars this summer.

Evans reached the final of the Croatian Open in Zagreb and his performance where he defeated four top players en route to the final was noticed by many around Europe. One immediate benefit of his strong showing was an invitation to train with the top French badminton players at the French National Badminton Centre in Paris. Playing against foreign players and picking up new techniques and skills can only benefit a player and this will have given Evans a greater degree of confidence before he heads off to Beijing.

Like Magee, Evans is only 19 years old so the Irish badminton contingent is looking extremely young but sometimes enthusiasm and energy can be a strong challenge to experience and age. Perhaps no one is expecting the two to reach a final or cause any great upset but representing their nation strongly will be all that the majority of the Irish fans will be looking for from the pair this summer.

The official ratification of their inclusion will not occur until the 2nd of June when the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) announce their findings but this early announcement will allow both players to fully focus on the task ahead.

With some team game squads still to be announced, there is a strong chance that over 40 sporting stars will be representing Ireland at this years Olympic Games which is a fantastic achievement for the country.

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