Great Britain’s Paralympian Krysten Coombs bagged bronze at the Tokyo Paralympics. The Game of Thrones actor came roaring back after losing the opening game to bag Team GB’s final medal of the Tokyo Games. The 30-year-old beat Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares 12-21 21-10 21-16, to take the final spot on the men’s SH6 podium.
Coombs, the number five in the world in para-badminton, has had a glittering career winning a European gold medal in 2016 before following it up with a world silver a year later. The Paralympic medallist in 2014 appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones, The Purple Wedding. Coombs is delighted to have bagged a medal in his maiden Paralympic Games.
“It’s a dream come true. To be able to come away from these amazing Games with a bronze medal, it’s just unreal,” Coombs said. “It’s just unbelievable and I’ve got so many people to thank, friends, family, support staff, The National Lottery, the people who play it at home.”
“It was [a challenge, going a game down] but I know I’m a fighter, I’m a strong person. I just dug in and just thought, ‘I can do this’ and I went for it, and I did. The 14 years of competing have been for this. I think the experience, the journey I’ve come to now get to the top of the level, and compete at these Games and win a bronze medal, it’s a dream come true.”
“I’d like to think I can inspire other kids with dwarfism at home,” Krysten Coombs
Krysten Coombs’s bronze was Great Britain’s 124th medal of the Tokyo Paralympics and only the second in badminton. The bronze medallist is hopeful that the medals won by he and Bethell can lead to greater things in the sport he loves. Coombs goes on to dedicate his medal to the four-membered para-badminton team.
“We had the guys all over the hall. I think that just helped to keep looking at them, to mentally get to you and know that they’re here. Dan (Bethell) medalled yesterday and to be able to do it together, the bronze medal isn’t just mine, it’s theirs as well. We’ve all worked together so hard over these last few years and qualified for Tokyo with the four of us, it’s just amazing,” he added.
“It’s a way of inspiring people now to get into badminton, to take part, and hopefully there’s a generation of para players in England and Great Britain, and all over the world, who can take the sport up and go for medals like me. It’s an awesome sport as you can see, and there’s so many opportunities with it as well. I’d like to think I can inspire other kids with dwarfism at home, that there is a journey and you can be successful with it.”
Great Britain finished the Paralympic Games in second place in the medal tally with 41 gold medals to its name. Team GB bagged 38 silver and 45 bronze medals to take their tally to a whopping 124. Coomb’s compatriot Dan Bethell bagged silver in the SL3 category, the first Paralympic medal in badminton for his country.