Rhys is from Nuneaton, Warwickshire and is coached by Steve Butler at Esporta, Coventry.
In March I travelled with Team England to the Turkish capital, Ankara and I was selected to play singles in The European U19 Championships.
My first round match was a tough challenge against Ben Torrance from Scotland who recently won the singles title at the Scotland Nationals. As expected, the match was a difficult game with Torrance playing really determined. After taking the first game 21-17, Torrance fought hard to win the 2nd 18-21. In the deciding game I played strong to establish a lead that I maintained to the end - winning the match 21-17, 18-21, 21-16.
In the next round I played Wolfgang Gnedt (Austria) a player that was unknown to me. After winning the first game I took control of the match to win 21-18; 21-11 to set up a match against Matej Hlinican (Slovakia). I played strong throughout this match and won convincingly 21-7; 21-13.
Into the quarter finals and my next opponent was one the top players and the #2 seed Adam Mendrick (Czech Republic). I was determinedto play well as I wanted to progress to the semi-final. But after winning the first game 21-16, Mendrick started very strong and I was 0-7 down before I slowly got myself back in the game to lead 11-10 at the break. It was a very tight finish to the match with me winning 21-16; 24-22.
My semi-final was against a difficult, awkward player Mark Caljouw (Netherlands) who was playing well and having a great tournament. The match was predictably tough with the lead changing all the time. Unfortunately, Caljouw won the decisive points to take the match 20-22; 19-21.
Overall, although disappointed at losing my semi-final, I am extremely proud to have won the European Championships Bronze Medal.
Rhys is currently ranked No.1 in the UK.
His biggest triumph was at the National Championships held at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield where he won Triple Gold medals.
Rhys is now holds the following titles:
- National Singles Champion
- National Mens doubles Champion
- National Mixed doubles Champion
The singles title gave him the most satisfaction as he has now been National Singles Champion for the last 4 years - a unique achievement.
In 2011 he has also been successful on the senior circuit winning the “The Sentinel Cup” at the Staffordshire Open and also the the singles and doubles titles at the Cambridgeshire Open
Internationally, he is now in the top three in Europe after winning the Singles titles at the U19 Portugal International and U17 Finland Junior International, the mens doubles title at the U19 Spanish Open and the silver medal in the mixed doubles at the U17 Danish Cup.
In September Rhys was selected as 'We are England' flag bearer at the Commonwealth Youth Games where he won the bronze medal in the singles.
For further details and information please visit Rhys' website: www.rhyswalker.com
- Sport: Badminton
- Region: West Midl&s
- Supporter: Jaguar Academy of Sport