Plymouth Special Olympians medal at home nations badminton champs
SPECIAL Olympians Elizabeth Haywood, Carly Snelling and Mark Bartlett all flew the flag for England and the city with stunning success at the 4 Nations Para-Badminton Championships in Cardiff.
The Welsh leg of the championships attracted 77 athletes from across the UK, who competed in four categories – Learning Difficulties, Standing, Wheelchair and Dwarf.
The Plymouth and District trio were all making their debuts at a major competition and marked the occasion in style.
Haywood, in particular, shone, winning gold and silver medals in the class four category.
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In the ladies' singles' final Haywood took Wales' Laura Watson to three games before just missing out on a gold medal, losing the deciding set 23-21.
Haywood teamed up with Mahesh Bhatt, of Scotland, to win gold in the mixed doubles' final.
Snelling, playing in the class three section, reached the final of the ladies' singles where she came up against her fellow England player Julie Goldsack.
Goldsack's experience proved telling as she won the match 2-0.
Snelling teamed up with city team-mate Bartlett in the mixed doubles (class three).
In an extremely tough draw, the Plymouth pair finished third in their group and just missed out on qualifying for the final.
Bartlett was dealt a tough draw in the men's singles (class three), where he came up against four of the top players in the UK.
He fared well to win one of his group games to finish joint third.
Plymouth's coach Paul Gray said all at the club had been delighted with the players and agreed that the trio had been great ambassadors for their club and for their home city.
For further information about the Special Olympics, who train at YMCA Honicknowle on Wednesday evenings 6.30pm-8pm, call Sue Speak on 01752 516165.