Ben Lane and Sean Vendy secured men’s doubles bronze after an excellent run at the 2022 European Championships this week.
The English pair headed to Madrid in with hopes of a strong display, after some positive signs at both the YONEX All England and Swiss Open tournaments last month and produced some of their best badminton en-route to the last four.
An excellent quarter-final win over Denmark’s Lasse Molhede and Jeppe Bay saw Lane and Vendy progress in straight sets.
That booked a final four clash with German duo Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel, who are two places above them in the BWF World Rankings.
But Lane and Vendy put up a superb fight on court 3, particularly in the opening game where they were only narrowly edged out 23-21.
That gave their opponents the momentum and they duly closed out a 23-21, 21-17 win to reach the final against Scotland’s Alex Dunn and Adam Hall.
Although there was no final appearance for them on Saturday, the week still marks major progress for Ben and Sean, who followed in the footsteps of Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis who also won bronze in this event last year.
England also had two pairs progress to the last eight of the mixed doubles.
Lauren Smith and Ellis were beaten 21-11, 21-17 by Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Soby, while Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh bowed out after finishing on the wrong end of a three game thriller, France’s Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue winning 21-15, 17-21, 21-8.
Over in the men’s singles, Toby Penty was back on the court, picking up two wins on the way to the last 16.
A straight games win over Miha Ivanic led to a clash with Spaniard Pablo Abian in round two, where Penty triumphed 21-16, 11-21, 21-18 after over an hour on court.
Freya Redfearn and Abigail Holden were competing in the women’s draw and both were eliminated in the second round.
Redfearn lost a closely fought contest with Leonice Huet, while Holden exited after running into Kristin Kuuba.