Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) badminton player Grace King flies out to Spain this weekend to take part in the World Under-19 Junior Championships knowing her England team will face a tough task against the sport’s Asian powerhouses.
The 16-year-old from Quarndon has done superbly well to qualify two years early for the team – made up of five girls and five boys.
She will go up against athletes already playing full-time, which DIS badminton coach James Boxall believes will make the standard very high in Bilbao.
“Some of the Asia players have been playing full-time since they were nine years old, meaning that at 18 or 19 they are already close to their peak,” he said.
“The European players on the hand will not peak until they are a little bit older and have been playing full-time themselves, which makes it a tough competition for them at this stage.
“But Grace has shone just to make the team as an under-17, and it should be a great learning experience for her.”