Badminton: Hall fit to resume comeback

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The Independent Online
Darren Hall's comeback from the brink of ending a long and successful career continues in the second of the five Friends Provident British Grand Slam tournaments at Perth today, where he begins as top seed.

Hall, English national champion a record seven times and a former European champion, was close to his best while beating the world junior champion, Chen Gang, during England's series against China on Monday, and appears to have thrown off the back injury which kept him out of every major tournament this year.

The 29-year-old has been told that a piece of misshapen vertebra is a defect with which he was born, but that a muscle which had become repeatedly trapped in it should not now bother him again. Hall should be better able to test this prognosis in Scotland. In Ulster last month his victory against Anthony Bush in the first tournament of the British Grand Slam was a one-sided success.

In the final Hall is scheduled to meet Anders Nielsen, the player who beat him in the 1992 English national final and who this year reached the semi-finals of both the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.