Badminton: Bournemouth's Ollie enjoys a taste of the big time

BOURNEMOUTH’S Ollie Baczala is vowing to come back stronger after loving every minute of his maiden English Badminton National Championships adventure.

The 18-year-old got a taste of the big time on Friday as he was among the great and the good of English badminton that descended on Manchester’s National Cycling Centre.

And Baczala clearly liked what he saw as he opened up with a comfortable victory over Greg Mairs, winning 21-16, 21-15.

But in the next round the Bournemouth TopRacket member found number two seed Toby Penty too much to handle, going out of the singles in straight sets.

Defeat in the men’s doubles alongside Connor Bambrick to Jamie Bonsels and Alex Fowler afterwards ended Baczala’s Manchester assault on day one, but the teenager insists this isn’t the last we have seen of him on the big stage.

“I enjoyed the English National Badminton Championships even if the results didn’t quite go my way,” he said.

“The main thing was that it was a good experience. I learned a lot from it really – especially playing second seed Toby Penty.

“I struggled against him because he’s been playing a lot longer than me. He’s more powerful and a lot fitter and that’s where I want to be.

“But it gives me positives for the future. It’s my first time so next year, now I’ve got used to the hall, I can come back stronger.”

Baczala is not about to put his feet up following his Nationals jaunt, immediately turning his attentions to his continental rivals.

And the former Christ the King Catholic High School pupil admits he is going to put all of his eggs in one basket in order to realise his badminton dream.

“I’m not going to university, I’ll be training full time,” he added. “The plan for the time being is to get as far as I can with badminton.

“I’ve got the Dutch and German Opens coming up, which are quite strong, at the end of February and early March and hopefully I can pick up some good results there.”

  •  Next up, come & experience the world’s best players and London 2012 Olympians at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships. For more information visit www.allenglandbadminton.com

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