Badminton Life

Welsh Wonder Loses Out

In sport, with every triumph there is disappointment and for every victor there must be a loser.

In the race to clinch a place at the 2008 Olympic Games, the focus has been on the players who have managed to gain qualification but what of those who miss out? With the event only happening every four years, a failure to make this years games may see many players come to the realisation that they will never reach this sporting pinnacle and it comes as no surprise when players retire around this time of year.

Once such badminton player who is considering this state of affairs is the Welsh player Richard Vaughan. Vaughan was edged out of a place in the British badminton team by Andrew Smith from England and will now be forced to look on as the tournament commences. Vaughan entered the European Championships in Denmark with hopes of being able to make up the ground on Smith and clinching the last spot.

Vaughan was aware that he needed to make it to the semi final to at least to be in contention for an Olympic slot but unfortunately, an old foe was to be his nemesis yet again. After passing through the tournament with the minimum of fuss to the quarter final stages, Poland's Przemys?aw Wacha stood in the way of the Welshman and his Olympic dream.

Vaughan had already lost twice to his Polish foe in 2008 but both ties had been extremely close affairs with Vaughan being unlucky to have lost either of the matches. Sadly for the Welshman, the pattern continued and although he put up a spirited showing, it was Wacha who triumphed to enter the semi-finals.

The disappointment felt by Vaughan in exiting the tournament would have been made even worse by the fact that his Olympic dreams also died at this point. It is only natural that players will look back at missed chances and in his review of the qualification process, there is no doubt that the spectre of Wacha will loom large in the reasons why Vaughan failed to qualify for the Olympics. If one or two of the matches had went the way of the Welshman as opposed to the Polish star, things could have been extremely different.

In the end, Andrew Smith of England had collected enough points to edge out Vaughan and placed the thought of retirement into the Welshman's mind. It may just have been the harsh reality of defeat catching up with him but all the post match interviews that Vaughan was conducting heavily suggested that he would be looking to finish his career as soon as possible.

Given the run of form the player has been in, in recent times it would be a big loss to the sport but other needs can take precedence over sporting glory. Badminton isn't one of the more lucrative sports for a player to take part in and no doubt Vaughan will be keen to earn enough money for himself and his loved ones to ensure they are comfortable through the rest of life.

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