These are busy times for badminton player Sara Boyle as she prepares for her second tournament in the same week.
Last weekend, Boyle competed in the Irish open at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, Dublin in both singles action and with her doubles partner Rachael Darragh.
This weekend, the 21-year-old is headed to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, again to compete in both singles and doubles action.
Boyle faces a familiar face in her first match in Glasgow in the singles competition.
“In the Scottish I’m in qualifying, in the singles I play an Estonian girl called Kati-Kreet Marran who I know quite well. Hopefully I win that.
Meanwhile on the doubles’ side of things, it’s less favourable.
“In the doubles we have the fourth seeds, French, which will be a tough match in the main draw.”
These tournaments are key to any future plans Boyle has come next June when the European Games are on in Minsk in Belarus.
“At the moment I’m actually concentrating a bit more on doubles because myself and Rachael are trying to qualify for the European Games.”
The Business Studies student from Dublin says she prefers the singles side of badminton. However, she does still enjoy playing with Darragh.
“I do love playing with Rachael, me and her are good friends as well so that’s nice and I like the team element.”
“Overall I prefer the singles because the shots are more suited for me, I’m more of a technical player than a power player so I struggle a bit in doubles sometimes.”
Boyle has consistently been qualifying for the main draw in tournaments throughout the last couple of years and putting in solid displays. She is not without weakness though and knows where she wants to improve.
“At the moment I struggle a lot with injuries. I was in Bulgaria, I went over my ankle. Over the summer I had a block of training but before that I had four or five months out with a shoulder injury.
“For me, getting to the next level I need to put in solid training blocks without getting injured is the main thing at the moment.”
For Boyle, her ambitions are very clear.
“My big goal is to qualify for the Olympics. I’m not sure if this is a chance for 2020, I’m going to look at how the next few tournaments go and re-evaluate in a couple of months if I’m going to start for the qualification which is May to May, a year long.”
“It depends on how the next few months go, on how my injuries go and if my levels are improving I will definitely go for the 2020 Olympics and if not, I will train and hopefully go for 2024.”
Image Credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile