Morgan ready to lead Welsh challenge
24 July 2002
Badminton champ Kelly Morgan pinpoints the big contenders in Bolton.
Morgan: on the defensive.
Welsh singles star Kelly Morgan outlined the threat Singapore could pose to her country’s medal hopes in the team competition.
Wales, the fourth seeds, have been drawn in group C together with Singapore, Barbados, Botswana and Ghana.
“There’s more competition than four years ago,” she said. “Players from Malaysia and Singapore have improved, the English girls are always a threat as is Aparna Popat and Lenny Permana.”
Morgan, the reigning Commonwealth singles champion is who everyone will be looking to beat in Manchester.
Popat will be looking to get revenge after Morgan beat her to the gold in Malaysia four years ago, whilst the Australian, Permana has dominated the sport in her country over the last three years.
“Singapore are an unknown quantity,” said Morgan. “We only know Ronald Susilo, their men’s singles player, and nothing about any of the others.”
“We don’t play them until 28 July so we will watch their players in the early matches and learn something,” said Morgan.
In addition to Morgan, the Welsh team have Britain’s top men’s singles player, Richard Vaughan, and three former England internationals in their squad.
Neil Cottrill, Joanne Muggeridge and Felicity Gallup have all defected across the border in recent years and now play under the Welsh flag.
“We have a good team spirit as most of us train together daily at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff,” said Morgan.
“But we are not looking too far ahead, just really focusing on the group stage. If we get through to the medals it will be amazing,” added Morgan.
Morgan’s personal focus in training for the past year has been on repeating the gold medal success she achieved at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games four years ago.
“There won’t be an easy round this time, but I’m feeling good and looking forward to the competition starting,” said Morgan.
The badminton competition starts at the Bolton Arena on 26 July.
Info News Service/sh/sdb