Foot injury won’t hinder Wimbledon badminton ace as he targets good league season and world’s top 50

Wimbledon’s Toby Penty hopes he can put his injury woes behind him as he looks ahead to the upcoming National Badminton League season.

Penty has been struggling with a foot injury but didn’t let that hamper his progress at the World Championships in Indonesdia in August where he came through a first round match with France’s Brice Levendez.

He came unstuck in the next round, however, where he was beaten by China’s Wang Zhengming but it was still a significant stride in Penty’s career.

And the former Halliford School pupil says he is looking to kick on this season and build on an impressive summer.

“I’ve been struggling a bit with my foot injury but I played in the World Championships this year,” said Penty, who is captain of Birmingham Lions for the upcoming National Badminton League season, which kicks off on November 2.

“I beat the French number one in the first round and then lost to the world number eight in three sets.

“For me, that was quite a big move forward, I’m hoping I can do the same in the NBL and on the international stage.

“I had a bit of an up and down summer but hopefully the preparations I have put in for the next season are going to show off.

“The Worlds gave me massive confidence. Doing it on the big stage of the World Champs, the Olympics is the only tournament which is as big as that, so it was pretty cool.

“I struggled to contain my excitement after I won the first match and the experience of playing such a good player and really have a good chance of winning was pretty mental at the time.”

While the injury was frustrating for Penty, he insists every cloud has a silver lining after he got a chance to learn from one of the best in the business.

“It was extremely painful after I came off court,” he added.

“But afterwards when I was in the physio, Lee Chong Wei was there as well and had a similar foot injury.

“It was quite interesting to talk to someone who’s been a two-time Olympic silver medallist and comparing foot injuries.

“It was quite an experience. It was tough but luckily I think I’m seeing the end of it and hopefully I can push on.

“My target is hopefully to hit the top 50. 67 is my highest, I’ve hit that twice, I want to try and push on to the top 50.

“If I can do that in an Olympic year where all the best players are coming out to play all the tournaments that would be really good.”

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