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Badminton ace Toby Penty delivers rousing Olympic message after unforgettable run in Tokyo

·2-min read
Surrey star Penty, 28, lowered the colours of world bronze medallist Kantaphon Wangcharoen but went down against Anders Anthonsen in the elimination round
Surrey star Penty, 28, lowered the colours of world bronze medallist Kantaphon Wangcharoen but went down against Anders Anthonsen in the elimination round

By Will Jennings

Giant-killer Toby Penty is ‘itching’ for another taste of the Olympic big time after his unforgettable run at Tokyo 2020 came to an end.

The Walton badminton ace, 28, had toppled world bronze medallist Kantaphon Wangcharoen to book his place in the knockout stages but went down against world No.3 Anders Antonsen with a quarter-final spot looming.

World No.56 Penty was unable to adapt to the Dane’s dynamism as Anthonsen, a 2019 world silver medallist, triumphed 21-10 21-15 at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

Sports-obsessed Penty says he revelled in his first Games experience and can’t wait for another shot at glory at Paris 2024.

HEARTBREAK FOR GLOVER AND SWANN, SHOOTING BRONZE AND SLALOM SILVER - TEAM GB DAY 6 WRAP
HEARTBREAK FOR GLOVER AND SWANN, SHOOTING BRONZE AND SLALOM SILVER - TEAM GB DAY 6 WRAP

Penty, whose Japanese journey was broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+, said: “I think it’s been great and I’m really satisfied with how I played on the whole.

“That’s main thing. I wanted to come out here and perform to my highest ability – whether I lost my first match or went all the way to the final didn’t matter to me.

“Performing and feeling comfortable out there was the main thing – I’ve ticked these boxes so I’m happy and am itching for more in Paris.

“There’s pride and a bit of frustration – I felt I was in there a lot more than the scoreline suggested. He’s just a very good match player – he plays the situations so well and I felt that was a big difference today.

“When he needed to up his game he could, and I struggled to control the arena and really make a dent in him to build a few more points.”

Penty beat both Thai star Wangcharoen, the world No.18, and German Kai Schäfer in Japan to ensure he safely progressed through Group K and into the elimination stages.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - CAELEB DRESSEL DOMINANT, HELEN GLOVER AND POLLY SWANN MISS OUT, ROWING DRAMA - MORNING UPDATE
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - CAELEB DRESSEL DOMINANT, HELEN GLOVER AND POLLY SWANN MISS OUT, ROWING DRAMA - MORNING UPDATE

He battled hard against Antonsen in the last 16 but the Scandinavian, the reigning European champion, had too much in the tank and outgunned the Surrey star in straight games.

Penty arrived at the Games firing on all cylinders and has taken the experience in his stride.

But admits he struggled to adapt to the conditions at the futuristic Musashino Forest Sport Plaza and added: “One end was a lot faster than the other – in the second half of that second set I was making too many errors at the back court.

“I felt like I was trying to do the right things but I was rushing a bit too much, which I haven’t done this week before that.

“That’s what happens when you play top players – they make you rush and he played a good game today.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, the Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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