Flynn Flies High In Mulhouse

Max Flynn has triumphed at the European Junior Championships in Mulhouse, France, winning a silver medal in the badminton men’s doubles event, and demolishing the second, third and fifth seeds with partner Callum Hemming.

Max Flynn and Callum Hemming take to the podium to collect their silver medal. Photo: Twitter.
Max Flynn and Callum Hemming take to the podium to collect their silver medal. Photo: Twitter.

The pair didn’t drop a single game as they stormed to the final, and convincingly defeated the much-fancied Polish partnership of Robert Cybulski and Pawel Smilowski in the semi.

Funding cuts have made life hard for aspiring English badminton players. Photo: Ashley Gregory.
Funding cuts have made life hard for aspiring English badminton players. Photo: Ashley Gregory.

The promising young Lions could only be stopped by the impressive French top seeds Thom Gicquel and Toma Junior Popov, who were well-backed by a raucous home crowd.

“There were probably three or four hundred French supporters”, Flynn said, “They were chanting and they had drums; it helped them a lot. It was tough for us because every point they won would be celebrated massively and if we won a point it would be quiet.”

The young pair were playing together for the first time, and some late intensive training left them quietly confident.

“We trained five days a week, and were confident going in. We thought we had a chance in the final against the favourites, but they’re very talented players.”

Team spirit was sky high as England claimed a bronze medal in the team event, and Flynn was a critical cog in the Lions’ machine.

Flynn and Hemming upset numerous higher-ranked opponents. Photo: Ashley Gregory.
Flynn and Hemming upset numerous higher-ranked opponents. Photo: Ashley Gregory.

“It was a fantastic team result and the team spirit was really good after coming through a tough tournament with a medal.”

Flynn enjoyed a special early birthday present, capturing the silver medal the day before his 19th birthday.

Being 19, Flynn now progresses to senior level, where the next national tournament could see him face opponents as prestigious as Olympic bronze medal winning pair Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis.

“It’s a really exciting prospect, all the pressure would be on them against an up-and-coming pair, and it would be a fantastic opportunity to improve.”