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Big names head for English Nationals in Milton Keynes

Big names head for English Nationals in Milton Keynes

Former world champion and Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms MBE will be taking on the best players in the country at next month’s English National Badminton Championships.

World number five pair, Chris and Gabby Adcock, lead the nation’s big names who will be heading for the arena: stadiummk next month for the first English National Championships to be held in Milton Keynes on February 8 and 9.

Commonwealth silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph will be chasing an amazing seventh men’s singles title in a row as a host of champions past and present bid to leave their mark on the tournament.

Toby Penty will be trying to end Ouseph’s reign, and lead’s England’s rising young stars like Rhys Walker, Sam Parsons and Alex Lane into action.

In the women’s singles Sarah Walker of Essex will defend the title she won for the first time last year but runner-up Fontaine Chapman is the highest-ranked entry.

Chris and Gabby Adcock will start favourites to recapture the mixed doubles title they won in 2012 but defending champions Chris Langridge and Heather Olver won’t hand over the title without a fight.

Olver is also bidding for a first women’s doubles title having been runner-up four times to Gabby Adcock, who defends her crown with Lauren Smith.

In the men’s doubles, world number 10 pair Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis are looking to recapture the title they won in 2012 and will be up against defending champions Langridge and Peter Mills.

Gail Emms will partner three-times champion Ella Tripp in the women’s doubles draw, as well as current England international and 2013 finalist Marcus Ellis in the mixed doubles event.

The English National Championships has attracted 132 players from 33 counties. There will be 32 players in the men’s and women’s singles draws and 24 pairs in each of the three doubles events.

Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England, said: “We are really looking forward to the National Championships next month, particularly as it’s being held in Milton Keynes in our ‘home’ town for the first time.

“The very best players in the country will be on show along with many of our up and coming young talent. And with Gail making a Nationals comeback, there promises to be lots of intriguing matches and thrilling badminton in store for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information about the tournament or to buy tickets go to www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk.