Frost working towards Paris

By Stephen Leonard

ONE OF Ireland’s most exciting badminton players, Kate Frost, is already setting her sights on qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

While her season has been cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic, it has still proven a pivotal one for the Templeogue woman.

Kate Frost ITT Badminton 53 1 compressor

Templeogue’s Kate Frost has been competing in the German Bundesliga in an effort to improve her game and her prospects of eventually qualifying for the Paris Olympics

Indeed she has competed in a lot more international tournaments, including a great run in the German Bundesliga that saw her win 18 out of the 24 games (singles and doubles) she contested with her team SGEBT Berlin over the course of 12 trips there since last September.

And, while her squad was still struggling in the table, the TU Dublin Tallaght student and player was extremely pleased with the learning experience it has provided.

“It was brilliant. We played some really good games against some top players from all over” she said.

“Playing abroad is something a lot of the top players in Ireland do.

“It was a real step up for me, but I needed it because I had got to the top in Ireland and so I had to look abroad to get that standard of competition.

“I’d love to go back, but I’ll have to check with the team what is happening and if they can take me back. We’ll have to see when the BWF [Badmin-ton World Federation] start to run competitions” she pointed out.

Frost has seen a number of top tournaments she was due to contest, fall victim to the COVID-19 threat, including the European University Games scheduled for July in Belgrade.

She and Moya Ryan had also secured qualification as a doubles pairing for the European Championships which should have been run in Kiev last week.

The scrapping of that tournament was a major disappointment for the two who had worked hard to gain the necessary points over their top 10 international contests, including a quarter final finish in the Irish Open.

Frost, the 2019 National Singles champion, fell just one step short of successfully defending her crown this year after she was beaten by Sara Boyle in the 2020 Final.

The two finalists this year, together with Rachel Darragh and Moya Ryan, travelled to the European Women’s Team Champion-ships in France in February.

And while they were pitched into an extremely tough group that included the highly rated Netherlands and top seeds and eventual winners, Denmark, the tournament provided more valuable exposure to top level badminton for the players.

And Frost, who had been planning to contest last month’s cancelled Inter-varsites with the top-seeded TU Dublin team, will be hoping to be back competing at a high level again soon.

“I’ve set Paris 2024 as a marker but I’ve been using the qualification tourna-ments for Tokyo to get that experience of travelling to international events” she explained.

“I’ve travelled to tournaments in Cyprus and Lithuania by myself just to get the experience in those competitions.

“I think Badminton Ireland will look to run some events before the International Badminton Federation competitions return.

“I think it will only be at the higher levels that international events will be held, because you have Olympic qualification tournaments that need to be run” she added.

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