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BADMINTON: Neil Bhabuta looking ahead to next season amid coronavirus lockdown

Neil Bhabuta is doubtlessly looking ahead to next season despite the coronavirus lockdown putting a damper on training efforts.

The 17-year-old had entered to play the German Junior, a couple of weeks after the conclusion of the Italian Junior international that took place in the virus stricken city of Milan in the Lombardy region. The novel coronavirus had in fact caused this very tournament to be postponed with the Italian government restricting all sporting events from taking place on the final day of the event.

Bhabuta, from Manchester in the United Kingdom, has had a decent level of success over the last few years frequently winning the English National Championships across a range of age groups and disciplines and at the beginning of the year and reached the quarter finals of the Senior English national Championships.

The past results of the junior player put him in a good position to challenge further in the upcoming season, should the situation enable the season to go ahead. The initial run of international events starting in December should allow for an early challenge with events such as the Hungarian International Challenge and the Ukrainian International Challenge being past entries of the young shuttler.

Last years Hungarian international saw Neil beat a world top 200 player (Luke Milic, Serbia) in three games before losing in the qualification round of 16 to the European Junior Champion from Russia, Georgii Karpov. Should the tournament go ahead this year and Bhabuta participates, it is likely that he will aim to go further than last years impressive result, potentially aiming to get into the main draw and challenging higher ranked players for more ranking points.

In the meantime, you can find out updates on Neil Bhabuta’s progress via web searches and social media with his Instagram handle being @neilbhabuta

Saqib Malik

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