2005 All News
Eleanor looks to build on Welsh success
ELEANOR COX is hoping her victory in the Yonex Welsh International in Cardiff 10 days ago (Dec 4) will be the springboard for a successful second half of the badminton season, starting TONIGHT (Wed) at the English Institute of Sport – Sheffield.
Eleanor, 19, is through to her second big senior final when she takes on English National champion Elizabeth Cann (Jersey) in the ASICS National Elite Open finals. Cann has been virtually invincible on the ASICS circuit for the last two years and beat Eleanor in the Wimbledon Elite final last month.
But that was before the Surrey teenager’s Welsh triumph. The Wimbledon-born, Farnborough-based player is the first British winner of the Welsh title since England No 1 and world No 7 Tracey Hallam (Staffs) back in 2000 and Eleanor’s victory was so much the better for having triumphed unseeded.
In the final she beat French No 1 and world No 73 Perrine Lebuhanic, the top seed, 13-11 11-4.
Eleanor took inspiration from that Welsh win, saying: “She is a strong player and I knew I had to work out a game plan that would enable me to beat her. I knew Tracey had won the competition five years ago and I was desperate to follow in her footsteps. We train with the same coach, Yvette Yun Luo at the National Badminton Centre at Milton Keynes and she is an inspiration to me.
“I am delighted to have won this tournament but know I have a lot to learn and need to put in a huge amount of training to be able to compete at top level. I always put 100% into my training and am absolutely determined to win a medal for Britain in the 2012 Olympics in London.”
Tonight there will chance to see her progress as she takes on Elizabeth Cann at the EIS-Sheffield as the ASICS finals will be shown on UKTV G2 on December 17 (6.30pm).
She will then face two big challenges in the New Year with the Yonex All England Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham (Jan 18-22) and the English National Championships at The Velodrome in Manchester (Feb 3-5).
Eleanor isn’t the only London 2012 prospect in action tonight. Yorkshire’s Jenny Wallwork, who trains at Sheffield, goes for a title double in the mixed with Kristian Roebuck and in the women’s doubles with another bright Yorkshire hope, Sara Bok. In the last four weeks Jenny has won the Bank of Scotland International mixed title and the Yonex Irish International women's doubles so she is in prime form.
The most intriguing of the five finals, the men’s singles, pits English Nationals runner-up Nick Kidd (Avon) against comeback star Michael Edge (Lancs). Edge retired at 24 nearly four years ago but now he’s back and is the most dangerous kind of opponent for Kidd – the play-for-fun kind. His nothing-to-lose approach has already won Edge the ASICS Wimbledon Elite Open title, having only entered this season’s circuit to inspire the young players he coaches at the David Lloyd Centre at Trafford Park, Manchester.
ASICS National Elite Open finals - Order of Play
Mixed Doubles - Robert Blair (Leics) & Natalie Munt (Herts) v Kristian Roebuck (Derbyshire) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorkshire)
Women's Singles - Elizabeth Cann (Jersey) v Eleanor Cox (Surrey)
Men's Singles - Nick Kidd (Avon) v Michael Edge (Lancs)
Women's Doubles - Sarah Bok & Jenny Wallwork (both Yorkshire) v Joanne Nicholas (Lancs) & Ella Tripp (Cheshire)
Men's Doubles - Robert Blair (Lancs) & Anthony Clark (Notts) v Chris Langridge (Surrey) & Chris Tonks (Warks)
Tickets are £6 (£5 for BADMINTON England members, £3 for senior citizens or Under 16s) and are available from the BADMINTON England credit card hotline on 01908 268400.