England’s badminton stars will record their best Commonwealth Games medal haul in 16 years after four pairings booked their place in gold-medal matches.
Semi-final victories for both Gabby and Chris Adcock and Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith means there will be another all-English mixed doubles final following the Adcocks’ win over Chris Langridge and Heather Olver at Glasgow 2014.
It will be a busy final day for Ellis too who also reached the finals of the men’s doubles alongside Langridge – ensuring he will finish his maiden Commonwealth Games with a hat-trick of medals following team bronze earlier in the competition.
Smith and Sarah Walker completed the quartet of pairings to reach a gold-medal match after successfully coming through their women’s doubles semi-final.
And while European champion Rajiv Ouseph was unable to join them, he did at least ensure he would leave the Gold Coast with two medals to his name after a thrilling bronze-medal victory over HS Prannoy.
That all means England are guaranteed to finish the Games with six medals, bettering their haul of five from Glasgow four years ago and meaning the team will enjoy their best haul since Manchester 2002, when both semi-finalists were awarded bronze medals.
It also adds up to one third of the 18 medals on offer in Australia coming to England, once again proving the country’s strength on the international stage.
"We are all coming into our peak,” said Gabby. “We have all been youngsters growing up together. We train very well together and push each other every day. We have really stepped it up here and played very well."
The Adcocks stayed on track to defend their mixed doubles title thanks to 21-19 21-17 win over Malaysian eighth seeds and Rio 2016 silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.
“It was definitely one of our career highlights to date, what happened in Glasgow,” said Chris.
“If we were able to get that again it would be something very special.
“Not often do you get to stand on the podium with your wife, but obviously if we could stand on the top step that would be something special again."
They will face familiar faces on the other side of the net after Ellis and Smith came through a thrilling decider to beat India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 20-22 21-18 21-16.
That continued a successful day for both Ellis and Smith after they had already won their respective men’s and women’s doubles semi-finals.
Smith and Walker downed top seeds and home favourites Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville 21-15 21-15.
And Olympic bronze medallists Ellis and Langridge came from behind to beat number one seeds and reigning champions Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong 15-21 21-16 21-15.
“When I first came here I wanted to come away with some medals because this is my first Commonwealth Games and I don't know if I'm going to have another one,” said Ellis.
“Obviously we play against them (Chris and Gabby Adcock) all the time in training so it will be one of those matches where everyone knows each other quite well.
"I think it will come down to who rises to the occasion the best. Who's most up for it. The start will be quite important in determining how the game will go."
Photos: Badminton Photo
Chris and Gabby Adcock start their European title defence on Day One of the 2018 European Championships - and its one of six matches with English interest.