Evans makes cut for Olympics

By Stephen Leonard

IRELAND badminton international Scott Evans has made the cut for this year’s Olympic Games.

The Dundrum man who attended Wesley College in Ballinteer, qualified for the men's singles in the 29th spot out of 36 places available.

It was a nervous wait for Evans as it was a few weeks before the Badminton World Federation and the Olympic Sports Council of Ireland confirmed he would be heading to Rio.

Scott Evans

Dominating men’s national senior badminton from 2005, Evans is no stranger to the Olympic stage having made the cut for the Summer Games in 2008 and 2012.

With little support in terms of a National Centre and National Coach at the time, Evans opted to make the move to Denmark 11 years ago in order to give himself the best possible chance of succeeding in his sport.

And while the badminton set-up in Ireland has improved dramatically, he still believes the level of sparring he enjoys in Denmark is what he really needs to thrive.

In the season leading up to the Olympic qualification year (May 2015-May 2016) he carded some great results, winning gold in the Brazil Grand Prix, reaching the last 16 of the World Championship and the second round of All-England.

This secured him a place in the top premier international competitions where the first round points alone went a long way to earning him Olympic qualification.

That said, Evans insists that qualification for this year’s Summer Games has been the most difficult yet.

“For Beijing, there was no real pressure, while in London I was continously looking at the points and rankings and it was bad for my game” he told The Echo.

“Having had a great year before, I was hoping to do well in the top events last season, but I won only one game in my first five tournaments and it really affected my confidence” he explained.

Yet with the pressure of reaching the Olympics now off his shoulders, Evans will be hoping for a strong run in Rio.

He joins compatriot Chloe Magee in travelling to Brazil after she came through a tighter qualification, securing 34th from 37 berths.

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