Flamstead's Emily Westwood targets GB Programme squad

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Emily Westwood hopes to put her injury problems behind her Emily Westwood hopes to put her injury problems behind her

Flamstead badminton player Emily Westwood is determined to overcome her current injury problems and continue her rise through the senior ranks.

The 20-year-old is looking to break into the GB Programme squad from the England seniors, but suffered a setback shortly before Christmas when she hyper extended her knee while doing weights.

The injury rules Westwood out of this weekend’s English National Championships in Milton Keynes and she admits she faces more than another month on the sidelines.

But while disappointed at missing out this weekend, she remains optimistic about her recovery.

“It was a bit of a shock but I’ve dealt with it quite well and everything’s going as well as it could so I can’t really complain,” she said.

“I’ve tried to take it day by day at the moment because it’s easier to see improvements in the gym with rehab.

“Once I get back on court I’ll probably get a little bit more frustrated than I am at the moment because I know how to do things but I won’t really do them as well as I did before.

“If everything goes right then that should happen and hopefully I’ll have a good first tournament back but I can’t expect too much from myself at the moment.”

Westwood was due to take part in the mixed and women’s doubles at this weekend National Championships in Milton Keynes but must now watch her teammates from the sidelines.

The former Roundwood Park student expects to be fully fit at the start of April and will be looking to carry on her impressive start to life at senior level.

She reached the semi-finals of the Welsh Open in 2012 and followed that up last year by making the same stage of Slovenian and Hungarian Internationals.

Westwood has ambitions of representing her country at the highest level but insisted she must learn to play with different partners in order to realise her goal.

“My dream would be to go to Tokyo 2020, that would be awesome even though it’s seven years away. Rio will probably come too soon,” she added.

“When you get to a certain level it’s about finding the right partner for you so it’s still good to play with different people.

“Once you know what game suits you it’s about learning each other’s game inside out.

“The older guys definitely make it easier, especially if you’re put on court training with them.

“If you ask them something they’re always happy to answer and even if you don’t they’ll just give you a bit of advice here and there. If it’s coming from someone who’s there at the moment rather than the coaches it is good.”

You can watch live coverage of the finals on Sunday, February 9, from 12pm to 5pm at www.badmintonengland.co.uk/tv and tickets are still available to buy at www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk.

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