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Medals, titles and some of the best shuttling action to date, badminton in 2023 delivered on and on and off the court.

With Paris 2024 around the corner, players began their campaigns to qualify spots for Team GB and ParalympicsGB, while Junior and Masters badminton flourished too.

A look back at the top community moments of 2023 will follow in the coming days but to begin with, here is the first in our two-part look at the best of the elite action from the past 12 months.

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Things kicked off in January with a bumper helping of badminton action, across the Estonian International and the Malaysian and Indian Open.

To round off the month, Annie Lado opened up England’s international medal account for the year picking up two titles at the Iceland International alongside Abbygael Harris and Brandon Yap.

February saw Johnnie Torjussen pick up a third successive title in the men’s singles at the English National Championships.

Unseeded Kirby Ngan won the women’s singles as Chloe Birch and Jenny Wallwork joined forces for the first time since 2016 to claim the women’s doubles title.


Further north from Nottingham, England successfully retained the McCoig Trophy during the annual Masters duel against Scotland in Glasgow.

Marcus Ellis returned from a long lay-off from hip surgery to help steer England to the semi-finals of the European Mixed Team Championships and the Para squad kicked off their Paris campaign at the Spanish Para Badminton International as Dan Bethell made a perfect return to court by picking up men’s singles gold.

Bethell won back-to-back events in Spain as he kicked off March in style before the badminton world descended on Birmingham for the YONEX All England Open where Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith reached the second round.

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy bounced back as they claimed a bronze medal at the Swiss Open as they picked up their first BWF Tour victory of 2023 en route to the last four.

The month rounded out in spectacular fashion as the unseeded Steven Stallwood and Hope Warner reached the semi-finals of the Polish Open, as did Brandon Yap and Annie Lado.

Domestically, Middlesex were crowned Senior County Championships champions having suffered just one loss across their nine Premiership matches.

April saw Jess Pugh announce her retirement after a decade within the Badminton England set-up, including featuring at two Commonwealth Games.

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Kristen Coombs won bronze at the Brazil Para Badminton International as Brandon Yap and Annie Lado, and Rory Easton and Zach Russ claimed singles in the Dutch International.

England took part in the Sudirman Cup Finals in Suzhou in May suffering defeats against Japan, South Korea and France.

Later in the month, Ethan van Leeuwen and Annie Lado were crowned mixed doubles champions at the Austrian Open in Graz

Off the court, Badminton England were presented with a White Cross of Honour from the Ukranian Badminton Federation for efforts to support Ukrainian badminton players.

Lane and Vendy returned to their seed-toppling best in June as they knocked out No.1 seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto with a dominant 21-15 21-18 win in the opening round of the Singapore Open.

The duo eventually reached the quarter-finals as Callum Hemming and Estelle Van Leeuwen surged to the mixed doubles semi-finals of the Denmark Masters.

Dan Bethell returned to winning ways with gold in SL3 men’s singles at the Canada Para Badminton International as Rachel Choong and Jack Shephard won two medals each.

Junior players from across England were in action at the first-ever Disability Junior National Championships which was held at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield.

On the international stage, several English shuttlers represented Team GB at the European Games in Krakow, with Ben Lane and Sean Vendy claiming silver and Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith winning bronze.

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