World Champion badminton star Niall McVeigh is set to compete at the 4 Nations Irish Para-Badminton Championships this weekend in Lisburn.
It is not very often that we have an opportunity to see a world champion on our own doorstep, but this weekend the National Badminton Centre in Lisburn will be hosting the prestigious championships, with Poyntzpass man McVeigh competing at the event.
McVeigh has been a tremendous ambassador for the sport since winning the doubles in the 2009 World Dwarf Championship in Dortmund.
In 2010 he was a silver medallist in the para Badminton Championships in Switzerland losing to Oliver Clarke in the Singles before going one better in 2011 World Para Championships in Guatemala beating Krysten Coombs in straight sets.
He was a gold medal winner in 2012 European Championships in Germany beating Andrew Martin and claimed the Gold in 2013 World Dwarf title in Michigan USA beating Coombs in straight sets before winning gold again in the BWF Para World Championships.
Earlier this year he won Gold in the Irish Para International beating the unseeded Chun Yim Wong after knocking out Coombs in three legendary sets in Dublin.
Niall, who stands just 4 feet 2 inches tall sadly failed to win a medal at the recent World Championships in Stoke Mandeville, but throughout his short career at the top of world para badminton he has bounced back to show his best form and gain revenge.
On Saturday just after mid-day he is due on court in his opening match of the Dwarf Short Stature Class 6 Mens Singles facing Dylan Beaumont and he will conclude his Group A round robin series against his colleague in the Irish squad Andrew Moorcroft.
Moorcroft, who finished the World championships with a bronze medal in the doubles will push Niall all the way as he treats every opponent in the same way with no easy points given away.
Niall will also be teaming up with his old colleague Luke Irvine in the Standing Combined Doubles and they will undoubtedly face quite a struggle in their opening group stage match against Owen Casey and Sean O’Sullivan before a clash with Colin Leslie and David Purdie.
Niall, despite being very focussed on the job in hand, is nevertheless a crowd pleaser, retrieving shots which most would simply accept as lost causes.