Chloe Magee has thanked the people of Donegal for the wonderful support she received at the Olympics in London.
The Raphoe native was narrowly beaten in her bid to book her place in the last 16 of the women’s badminton at the Olympics at Wembley Arena on Tuesday. Her spirited showing endeared her to the sporting public, both those in the arena and those who watched at home on television.
Magee was toppled by France’s Hongyan Pi, a former world number two who had knocked her out of the Yonex Irish Open last December, by two games to one in an exciting battle.
Magee won the first game 21-17 before going down 21-18 in the second. The third was equally dramatic between the two evenly matched competitors before 33-year-old Pi came through, 21-14.
“I couldn’t really talk to anyone after the match and didn’t want to look at my facebook or twitter accounts,” 23-year-old Magee said. “I was in pretty bad form but when I went back that night I took a pretty quick look and just couldn’t believe the support I had got.
“It hit me quite hard and all I can say to everyone is a huge thank you. It really is incredible and I never thought before I went to London it would end like that this. Obviously I’m not happy the badminton ended but the support I got was unreal.
“A lot of my family were in London and they couldn’t get over the standard. They were obviously gutted as well and it took me a while before I went over to see them but they told me they were proud and that I should be proud of my own performance. It was nice to hear that when I wasn’t feeling too good about things.”
Irish number one Magee, who is coached by her brother Daniel, got the better of Egypt’s Hadia Hosny in her opening match of the Games on Sunday night, 21-17, 21-6. Hongyan defeated Hosny 21-11, 21-9 some 24 hours later.
“I really enjoyed the performance and loved playing in the arena but I made too may easy mistakes and I’m not in the tournament and that’s the end of it,” Magee added of her loss to Hongyan. “I always go out and try to win and the day that I stop enjoying it I’ll quit. I really enjoyed performing in front of that crowd and was gutted to lose but I would’ve loved another game.”
“There was one point in the second game when I was 18-19 and I just thought I would love to get the next point. Usually if you play you best then the results take care of themselves but I’ll stick at it because one day it’ll be my day.”
Magee will not rest on her laurels after a second Olympic appearance. The level of preparation she put in prior to London will stand to her as she continues to fight for titles, both locally and nationally.
“I don’t really want to take any holidays,” she continued. “I’d just like to get back training and keep going. The aim now is to go for a European medal in two years’ time. I’ll put the hard work in now.
“I really enjoyed London. It’s been phenomenal but there’s a lot more left in this year for me. I’m looking forward to it already.”