Already, 22-year-old Chloe Magee (pictured) ranked 53 in the women’s singles event, was first to nail an upset at the 2011 World Championships after defeating Indonesia’s Adrianti Firdasari, ranked 31 in the world, 13-21 24-22 21-13 at the Wembley Indoor Arena this morning.
Sam, brother Dan and sister Chloe all hail from the small “one horse” town of Raphoe. Chloe, who plays singles and mixed doubles with Sam explained, the family secret.
“Dad got us into the game when I was maybe four of five,” she said. “We just played at our local club and all things spiralled from there.”
Dan, 26, an ex-international who now coaches Chloe, said: “It was a small, one-court hall in a church building. Because of the badminton we all grew hungry for more.
“Then we moved further afield and it’s been going well since then.
“Raphoe is a really small town – a one-horse town with not many people in it but at one time Sam, Chloe and myself were all playing for the Irish team.”
Chloe will team up with Sam on Tuesday to play French duo Baptiste Careme and Laura Choinet.
Sam, 21, said: “We’ve won two tournaments this year, in Romania and Lithuania. We won one before that but this year we’ve been a bit more consistent and we’re getting a litlle more experienced.”
The Magee’s exploits have done a great deal to lift the profile of the sport in Ireland.
Dan said: “When I played for Ireland the publicity was not so big but now with Chloe and Sam winning things in Europe and Chloe winning a singles title in Lithuania badminton is getting more recognition.
“And of course we’ve got our number one man Scott Evans who was in a few of the European finals as well.” Evans opens his campaign on Tuesday against Austria’s Michael Lahnsteiner.
Meanwhile, back in Raphoe, remarkably, there’s a fourth Magee shaping up in the form of young brother Josh, aged 16.
Sister Chloe, world-ranked 38, said: “He doesn’t play too much internationally at the moment but I am sure he will in the future.”
Sam said: “Maybe we’ve saved the best till last!”
To view full results of the 2011 Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships, click here.