Badminton: Milne’s senior debut plunged into doubt

Sarah Milne.
Sarah Milne.

Harrogate’s Sarah Milne admits her European senior debut has been plunged into doubt after limping out of the England National Badminton Championships.

The 21-year-old headed to Manchester’s National Cycling Centre in buoyant mood having just been named in England’s side for the European Mixed Team Championships a few days previously – the event in Russia starting on February 12.

Add this to the fact that Milne was seeded fifth in Manchester and you could see why she had hopes of picking up the National title.

But it wasn’t to be as Milne came crashing back down to earth, losing to eventual champion Sarah Walker in her semi-final, losing 21-16, 17-21, 21-18.

The defeat was made all the more worse with the fact that Milne was then taken to hospital with a suspected torn achilles, and Milne admitted she would be keeping everything cross to ensure her senior debut on the continent didn’t slip through her fingers.

“My leg’s not very good,” she said after her match.

“The physio thinks I’ve torn my Achilles, it’s a bit nasty at the minute but we’ll see.

“I couldn’t really accept losing, the physio came on and told me I had to stop but I just said a few more rallies.

“That turned into a set and a half but I can’t accept losing very easily, I was one-legged for a bit but it was alright.

“Hopefully it’s not a long lay-off, I’m supposed to go to the Europeans next Sunday and hopefully that’s still on target depending on how this goes, we will see.

“Everything’s up in the air at the minute I guess.”

There is no shame in losing to the eventual champion, especially considering that Milne took her to three sets despite playing on one leg for half of the game.

But even despite her heroic effort Milne couldn’t help but wonder what might have been had she had a clean bill of health.

“I came here wanting to get to the final and win, you don’t enter if you don’t want to win so I didn’t want to accept anything other than that,” she added.

“I think if I’d been fit I would have been able to win, but given the circumstances I’m happy with what I’ve done.”

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