DONEGAL’S Chloe and Sam Magee won the Norwegian Badmintion championship at the weekend and in the process took a giant step towards qualification for next summer’s Olympics in London.
The Raphoe brother and sister act are now first reserve in qualification for the 2012 Games, and with a number of tournaments still to come including next month’s Irish championship, in Lisburn, they are in pole position to make the London Games.
In the final on Saturday in Oslo, they defeated the Danish pair of Rasmus Bonde and Maria Hesbol, in convincing fashion in two straight sets 21-17 and 20-16, to claim the title.
On their way to the final left Chloe and Sam, who were the number one seeds, overcame Anton Kaisti and Jenny Nystrom ,of Finland, Kim Astrup Sorensen and Line Kjaersfeldt, Denmark, Gert Kunka of Estonia and Amanda Hogstrom of Sweden - the number three seeds.
Saturday’s is their third national championship having won the Lithuanian title earlier in this season and the Spanish championship last year.
On a hectic weekend Chloe also made it all the way to the singles final before losing to the highly rated Linda Zechiri, Bulgaria 21-19 and 21-14 in a keenly contested decider.
Chloe, who competed at the Beijing Olympics, has qualification for London all but wrapped up and will be hoping to guarantee her place at the games at the Irish finals.
Sam Magee and his doubles partner Mikkel Eljborn reached the quarter finals in the doubles before going out to the Dutch third seeds Ruud Bosh and Loen Riddler.
Meanwhile, Badminton Ireland are to hold an exhibition next month at the Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny. The exhibition will be run my National Coach Daniel Magee, from Raphoe, and will feature several members of the national team including Olympian Chloe Magee. The exhibition is on December 17th.