5 September 2021

Coombs hoping to inspire next generation after winning badminton bronze

Krysten Coombs celebrated a dream come true after fighting from a game down to win badminton bronze – ParalympicsGB’s 124th and final medal of a memorable Tokyo 2020.

The 30-year-old trailed after one game of the bronze-medal match but rallied thereon to beat Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares 12-21 21-10 21-16, taking the final spot on the men’s SH6 podium.

That result, combined with Dan Bethell’s SL3 silver yesterday, means the four-strong British team have won two badminton medals on the sport’s Paralympic debut in Japan.

“It’s a dream come true. To be able to come away from these amazing Games with a bronze medal, it’s just unreal,” he said.

The 124th and final medal of Tokyo 2020

“It’s just unbelievable and I’ve got so many people to thank, friends, family, support staff, The National Lottery, the people who play it at home.

“It was [a challenge, going a game down] but I know I’m a fighter, I’m a strong person. I just dug in and just thought, ‘I can do this’ and I went for it, and I did.

“The 14 years of competing have been for this. I think the experience, the journey I’ve come to now get to the top of the level, and compete at these Games and win a bronze medal, it’s a dream come true.”

Coombs was the one to stand on the podium but knows that getting there has been a complete team effort.


To be able to come away from these amazing Games with a bronze medal, it’s just unreal.

Krysten Coombs

But for the athlete himself, the ParalympicsGB badminton team and the sport as a whole, this is just the start of the journey as opposed to the end.

Coombs is hopeful that the medals won by he and Bethell can lead to greater things in the sport he loves.

He added: “We had the guys all over the hall. I think that just helped to keep looking at them, to mentally get to you and know that they’re here.

“Dan medalled yesterday and to be able to do it together, the bronze medal isn’t just mine, it’s theirs as well.


Hopefully there’s a generation of para players who can take the sport up and go for medals like me.

Krysten Coombs

“We’ve all worked together so hard over these last few years and qualified for Tokyo with the four of us, it’s just amazing.

“It’s a way of inspiring people now to get into badminton, to take part, and hopefully there’s a generation of para players in England and Great Britain, and all over the world, who can take the sport up and go for medals like me.

“It’s an awesome sport as you can see, and there’s so many opportunities with it as well.

“I’d like to think I can inspire other kids with dwarfism at home, that there is a journey and you can be successful with it.”

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