Following a semi-final defeat in 2016, rising stars Ben Lane and Jess Pugh have their eyes set on the top spot of the podium as the English National Championships arrive next month.
The young mixed doubles pair lost out to top seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock at the University of Derby Sports Centre last year but are confident they can improve on that performance in a few weeks’ time.
Lane said: “I always look forward to playing the Nationals as it is a chance for me to play in England in front of a home crowd and my parents. My brother also plays so it’s good to be able to have lots of home support.
“I have won junior titles but never a senior Nationals title so I am excited to play this year.”
After reaching the semi-final of the YONEX US Open in July, the duo are back in training ahead of their debut World Championships in Scotland between 21-27 August, with the Nationals the following week.
Pugh added: “Nationals will always mean a lot to me, it's a big title to have next to your name and I've not won one yet so I'm excited for the challenge!
“I like playing the Nationals and I always look forward to it because it's one of the only tournaments I get to have my family present and watch me play competitively, so that is always nice!”
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Badminton England is set to launch a new initiative designed to promote, support and engage women in coaching across all levels of the sport, from grassroots and talent right through to performance.