Scott Evans will play for the Irish team for the last time next week in Kazan

Ireland’s most successful ever badminton player Scott Evans has announced his retirement from the sport after 15 years as a professional.

The Dundrum native made history in 2008 when he became the first Irishman to compete in badminton at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

In 2016 as he became the first Irish player to win a match at the Games, progressing through two rounds before finishing ninth overall.

Speaking to the Dublin Gazette after making public the choice to move onto the next phase in his professional life, Evans said it was a decision a year or more in the making.

“I was thinking about it after Rio,” he says.

“It’s been on my mind for a while. I only really sat down in November last year and thought about it seriously. It’s the right time now to call it a day.

“I’ve had a great career – a long career. I’ve been on the circuit for 14 or 15 years, which is a long time.

“I can really feel it in my heart it’s the right decision. I’ve always been a guy that when I go into something I go 110% and give it everything I have.

“That’s been difficult for me the last couple of months with training – I haven’t really had that same desire to do that on a daily basis.”

30-year-old Evans admits he’s fortunate to be able to bow out on his terms, at the top of his sport, although age and potential financial insecurity in the future were also factors.

“I made sure I would definitely go out on my terms and it being my decision. There are a few other factors to that with the funding thing and injuries.

“I’ve been lucky enough with injuries so I never wanted an injury to make me have to call it a day. This is exactly the way I wanted to do it.”

The Copenhagen-based athlete will now take up an exciting new opportunity in coaching that will see him link up with a former professional to open an academy in the Danish capital.

“That says a lot about me and my attitude towards badminton – I got involved with it because I loved it.

“Being able to stay part of the game is great. I don’t know if I want to be a coach for the rest of my life, but at this moment in time it’s something that interests me a lot.

“If it stays stay that way for the rest of my life, then I’ll keep doing it.”

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