CHLOE MAGEE goes to the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships in Russia this weekend hoping to kick-start her Olympic qualification bid.
The Raphoe woman would become Donegal’s first-ever three-time Olympian were she to book her spot at the 2016 Games in Rio having already competed at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Magee is currently at number 55 in the world rankings.
After winning a tenth straight National Senior Championship title on Sunday, Magee’s focus is now firmly on Rio.
“I have a bit of work to do, but I have two and a half months to do it – they’ll be a big two and a half months,” Magee said.
“You can’t be sure until it’s actually done, but I’d be fairly confident I’ll be in Rio. I should get good points at the European Team Championships and then I’ve a load of tournaments I can play.”
The European Team Championships take place in Kazan, Russia from February 16-21 and Magee will then head to Austria to begin what she calls ‘a full schedule until the end of the Olympic qualification’.
She said: “I could play the eight straight weeks if I needed to, but I’d hope to get a couple of good results, maybe a quarter, semi or a final somewhere along the line and boost the points well.”
There had been hopes that Magee and her brother, Sam, could book a place in Rio in the mixed doubles.
“We’ll try in the mixed, but I’ll try get the singles first,” she said.
“Before Christmas we played a lot in the super series so that’s why my singles is still 50-50. I need to go back and play the singles to get the points now.
“For us to make it in the mixed we’d need to be doing above what we’re doing now.”
Magee, when she was just 19, made history in Beijing in 2008 when she defeated Estonia’s Kati Tolmoff to become the first Irish badminton player to win a game at the Olympics.
Magee bowed out when beaten by world number 11 Jun Jae-youn from Korea.
In London four years ago, Magee defeated Hadia Hosny 21-17 21-6 and took the first set against Pi Hongyan 21-16, but lost the next two 21-18, 21-14.
She is one of only two two-time Olympians from Donegal alongside marathon runner Danny McDaid (1972 and 1976) and is now on the trail of some history.Tags: