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Chloe Birch and Jessica Pugh produced the standout English performance this week at the Nantes International Challenge.

The pair brought some of their best badminton to Reze in the women’s doubles draw, progressing to the last four.

This included eliminating top seeds Christine Busch and Amalie Schulz in round two with a stunning 21-14, 21-14 victory.

In the semi-finals, Hsu Ya Ching and Lin Wan Ching proved one step too far for Birch and Pugh, although the English pair did show their fighting spirit in the second set, eventually bowing out 21-16, 10-21, 21-12.

But both can take heart from some positive performances, matching their run at the Orleans Masters in April.

It was a trickier week for Toby Penty, seeded second in the men’s singles.

Penty managed to progress into the second round after a comfortable win over Adulrach Namkul, 21-15, 21-19.

But the 29-year-old shuttler was beaten by an impressive Ditlev Jaeger Holm of Denmark in straight sets, 21-19, 21-10.

Two English entrants had good runs in the mixed doubles, both reaching the last eight.

Pugh was back on court teaming up with Callum Hemming, with the top seeds journey only ending when Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin of Taiwan produced a strong performance in the quarter-finals, going through 21-15, 21-14.

In the other half of the draw, Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore also made progress, defeating home favourites Julien Maio and Vimala Heriau, 21-16, 21-19.

They were beaten in the next round by impressive qualifiers Amri Syahnawi and Winny Kandow of Indonesia, who rattled off a 21-13, 21-16 win inside 38 minutes.

Over in the men’s doubles Steven Stallwood and Hemming were top seeds, receiving a bye in the opening round.

However, they were unable to reach the latter stages in Nantes after a second round defeat against Teges Satriaji Cahyo Hutomo and Christopher David Wijaya of Indonesia, going down 21-16, 21-12.

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