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Birch reigns supreme at English Nationals

Defending a title is no mean feat but Chloe Birch successfully defended both her women’s singles and doubles titles at the English National Badminton Championships in Winchester.

The 24-year-old tasted victory in the first final of the day as she defeated Freya Redfearn to win her fourth singles title in a row.

In a close contest Birch showed her experience over the young star, who was competing in the final for the first time, to triumph in two games – 21-12 21-17.

Birch had already taken to the court before her singles final, as she teamed up with Lauren Smith in the semi-finals of the doubles.

The top seeds advanced to the final with a straightforward 21-10 21-13 win over Jessica Hopton and Hope Warner.

After her gold medal exploits in the singles, Birch returned with Smith but the doubles final wasn’t as clear-cut.

Jenny Moore and Viki Williams put the pressure on and claimed the first game 21-12 but the defending champions fought back to win 12-12 21-18 21-11.

The victory ensured Smith etched her name into the record books as she clinched her eighth women’s doubles title – having not tasted defeat since 2012 – putting her level with Gillian Gowers.

Alex Lane became a two-time men’s singles champion at the English Nationals as he beat Johnnie Torjussen 21-19 21-10 in the final.

The 2017 champion faced a tough test in the first game with neither player able to get momentum but Lane edged ahead in the closing stages and sealed the result in two games.

There was an amazing performance for Max Flynn and Fee Teng Liew in the mixed doubles as they clinched the crown in their first final.

After knocking out the 3/4 seeds in yesterday’s quarter-finals, the duo continued in resolute fashion and triumphed 21-11 21-19 over second seeds Tom Wolfenden and Moore.

In the last final of the day, Wolfenden bagged a title as he teamed up with Greg Mairs to win the men’s doubles.

It was a tense first game but the duo eventually got the better of Rory Easton and Ethan Van Leeuwen, beating them 18-21 21-13 21-12.