Wheelchair shuttlers Follett and Dua-Harper to compete at Para-Badminton Worlds

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Wheelchair athletes such as David Follett (left) and Connor Dua-Harper deserve our applause and our attention. (photo: Exeter Express and Echo)

Stoke Mandeville: Two Devon Racqueteers wheelchair badminton players are competing against the best in the world as they target a place in the Paralympics.

David Follett, 26, and 17-year-old Connor Dua-Harper are in action at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Stoke Mandeville until Sunday.Wheelchair athletes such as David Follett (left) and Connor Dua-Harper deserve our applause and our attention. (photo: Exeter Express and Echo)

Follett is ranked 13th in the world in his class, with Dua-Harper No. 4 in the world in his section, with the members of the Broadclyst-based club playing doubles together.

It is fitting that in the year when para-badminton was awarded Paralympic status for Tokyo 2020, the championships will take place at the birthplace of the modern Paralympic movement.

More than 290 competitors from over 35 countries are competing for 23 world titles.

Follett said: “It is a huge honour to be selected to play at the World Championships in Stoke Mandeville.

“I competed at the worlds in Guatemala in 2011 and Dortmund in 2013 but it is very exciting that I am competing for my country in our country this year.

“I have been training five days a week in preparation for the championships. My wife Becky accompanies me to tournaments, however this time I have my whole family coming to support me.

“My clubmate Connor is my doubles partner for the championships. Both Connor and myself are aiming for the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020.”

— Exeter Express and Echo

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