January 2007 All News
Ouseph top seed for the English National Championships
RAJIV OUSEPH, the reigning European junior champion from Middlesex, was today named top seed in the men's singles at the English National Badminton Championships at The Velodrome in Manchester's Sportcity from February 2-4.
The 20-year-old Loughborough student is seeded ahead of defending champion Nick Kidd (Bucks). Nathan Rice (Bucks), who was runner-up to Ouseph in the Elite Grand Finals last month in Bath, is third seed with Canadian Open winner Toby Honey (Surrey) at No 4.
But Middlesex’s Aamir Ghaffar, runner-up last year having won the title the two other years the Championships have been held in Manchester, is only seeded No 6.
In the women's singles Jill Pittard, beaten finalist last year, is top seed, with Elite Final winner Michelle Cheung (Bucks) second seed and Rachel Howard (Herts), who was runner-up to her in Bath, at No 3. Rebecca Pantaney (Gloucs), who was runner-up in 1998, has come out of retirement to enter and is No 4 seed.
But Jersey star Elizabeth Cann (representing Middlesex this season) is not seeded despite being the only past winner in the women's singles with Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam out injured and Julia Mann now retired.
All five of England's World Championship medallist will be competing in Manchester with the mixed doubles the big attraction.
World and Commonwealth champions Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms, who were runners-up at last week's Malaysia Open and semi-finalists at this weekend’s Korean Open, are bidding for their fifth title together and are top seeds.
Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, who were runners-up to them in Madrid as well as in Manchester last year are seeded to meet them again in the final.
In the men's doubles Clark and Robert Blair, the World runners-up, are clear favourites while Emms and Kellogg, the European champions, are top seeds in the women's doubles as Emms bids for her sixth title and Kellogg her fifth.
The English National Championships are being staged in Manchester for a fourth successive year thanks to the parnership between BADMINTON England, Manchester City Council, Hi-Tec, Carlton and badminton retailers www.badmintondiscount.com The event is also supported by the Manchester Evening News.
Councillor Mark Hackett, Manchester City Council’s Executive member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Manchester is always seeking to build on its reputation as a world-class host for sporting events. We are delighted to have been chosen for the fourth consecutive year and look forward to welcoming the Nationals back. It is a thrill for all badminton enthusiasts and I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere.”
The draw for the Championship will be announced on Tuesday at 12 noon on www.badmintonengland.co.uk Play starts on Friday February 2 at 10am
(Holder: Nick Kidd)
1 Rajiv Ouseph (Middx)
2 Nick Kidd (Bucks)
3 Nathan Rice (Bucks)
4 Toby Honey (Surrey)
5 Andrew Ellis (Yorks)
6 Aamir Ghaffar (Middx)
7 Neil White (Notts)
8 Ben Beckman (Surrey)
(Holder: Tracey Hallam)
1 Jill Pittard (Warks)
2 Michelle Cheung (Bucks)
3 Rachel Howard (Herts)
4 Rebecca Pantaney (Gloucs)
(Holders: Robert Blair & Anthony Clark)
1 Robert Blair (Leics) & Anthony Clark (Notts)
2 Chris Langridge (Surrey) & David Lindley (Notts)
3 Robert Adcock (Notts) & Robin Middleton (Yorks)
4 Dean George (Herts) & Chris Tonks (Warks)
(Holders: Gail Emms & Donna Kellogg)
1 Gail Emms (Herts) & Donna Kellogg (Derbyshire)
2 Natalie Munt (Herts) & Joanne Nicholas (Lancs)
3 Suzanne Rayappan (Herts) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks)
4 Sarah Bok (Yorks) & Liza Parker (Herts)
(Holders: Nathan Robertson & Gail Emms)
1 Nathan Robertson (Notts) & Gail Emms (Herts)
2 Anthony Clark (Notts) & Donna Kellogg (Derbyshire)
3 Robert Blair (Leics) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks)
4 David Lindley (Notts) & Suzanne Rayappan (Herts)