Marcus Ellis 1200

Badminton England Performance Director Morten Frost has tipped Ben Lane and Sean Vendy to challenge for more silverware at the upcoming European Badminton Championships.

Lane and Vendy enter the competition, which runs from the April 8-14 in Saarbrücken, Germany, as third seeds following an impressive victory at the Swiss Open in March.

The men’s doubles pairing currently sit 20th in the world rankings and are in the midst of chasing qualification to their second Olympic Games, meaning every point will count.

Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark have been named as top seeds coming into the competition but Frost is confident that the British duo are in prime position to beat anyone as long as they keep their cool and focus on the tough task at hand.

“The men’s doubles is the category where we have the best chance of a medal, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“Ben and Sean have that capability to upset anyone in the top 10 so it’s down to whether they hit form on the day.

“Men’s doubles is very competitive at the moment so you can’t really predict it but they’re seeded three in the tournament.

“They could face the number ones from Denmark but I wouldn’t disregard the French pair Lucas Corvee and Ronan Labar, who are down at sixth seed, either.”

Lane and Vendy are joined in the men’s doubles draw by Callum Hemming and Ethan Van Leeuwen, who start against Robert Cybulski and Szymon Slepecki, while the travelling English squad also includes three mixed doubles pairings.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith are chasing their maiden European title after grabbing bronze and silver on previous outings in 2018 and 2021.

The duo are seeded fifth ahead of the tournament and have drawn Poland’s Robert Cybulski and Kornelia Marczak in the first round.

A ‘Battle of Britain’ awaits Jenny and Greg Mairs, who take on Scotland’s Adam Hall and Julie Macpherson in their opening match, a clash that will see the good friends turn to rivals on court.

Callum Hemming and Estelle van Leeuwen, meanwhile, open up against Danish seventh seeds Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch.

“I really hope all three of our mixed pairs do well,” Frost said.

“Marcus and Lauren have so much experience but they’ve never won the European Championships so it’s the one title they’re desperately seeking to get.

“The ‘Battle of Britain’ is a really interesting match as the Mairs take on Adam Hall and Julie Macpherson, which is going to be really exciting.

“There’s a lot of pride riding on that one, so it will be good.”

The European Championships cites the end of a tough Olympic qualification period for athletes ahead of this summer’s Paris 2024 Games.

But as the experienced players battle for points, the competition will also provide an opportunity for young shuttlers to make a name for themselves and fuel their senior international breakouts.

Harry Huang, 22, has drawn fifth seed Rasmus Gemke in the men’s singles while Lisa Curtin, 19, plays Turkey’s Ozge Bayrak in the women’s singles.

And Frost is excited to see the next generation gain vital experience on their journeys to LA 2028 and beyond.

“It marks the end of a really hectic Olympic qualification period and we can now start looking forward to Paris with the players we have qualified,” he said.

“But it’s really important to build that next generation as well for 2028 and 2032 which is what we have a lot of focus on at the moment.

“It’s very exciting that we are in the process of building a new generation and it’s nice to see a lot of those players now making their way into the European Championships.

“Now let’s be competitive.”

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The full playing schedule can be found here.

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