July 25, 2022
Ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, we are taking a look at the Team England debutants hoping to shine on the badminton court at the NEC.
Next up is Sean Vendy.
Sean Vendy will pull on the Team England red shirt for the first time in Birmingham this summer but the European bronze medallist isn’t short on big tournament experience.
Vendy, 26, competed at Tokyo 2020 alongside Ben Lane last year and has developed into one of the country’s best doubles players in recent years.
Before April’s podium finish in Madrid, Lane and Vendy had been victorious at the Orleans Masters and were European Junior silver medallists in 2015.
And although he is entering the Commonwealth Games arena for the first time, the talented shuttler won’t just be there to take in the occasion – he wants a medal.
“I’m really happy to be selected and part of it, I can’t wait to get started,” said Vendy. “It’s a different feeling from Tokyo last summer, obviously the Olympics is huge.
“But Team England feels a really tight-knit group, so it’s different in a good way. It is just as big an achievement for me.
“We started off the year a bit rocky, but then got the European (Championships) medal.
“That was a big goal for me and Ben, I think that’s given us a lot of confidence going forward.
Spotlight On Commonwealth Debutant: Freya Patel-Redfearn
“We’ve put in some really good performances, we’re just at the stage of finding the last bit of what we need to add to our game to beat the best.
“The Commonwealth Games should be a realistic goal for us. Looking at the draw, it will be a little more open and we want to take advantage of that, there is no reason we can’t be medalling.”
Ranked inside the world’s top 20 in the men’s doubles with Lane, the duo have the pedigree to challenge the podium positions in front of a home crowd.
Vendy will be one of nine shuttlers representing Team England in Birmingham and he is quick to point out the collective effort required goes beyond only those who step out on court.
“The whole team plays its part,” he added. “Even the ones not selected, as they have helped get us in the best shape for the Games and keep pushing us in training.
“There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes into this team.
“Everyone in the background has really put the work in. That is one thing I’ve really noticed about the Commonwealths, everyone is really grafting to be in the best possible shape.
“We’ve had a busy schedule recently, so probably haven’t had as long to prepare for these Games.
“But that might work to our advantage. The four weeks we have had are really good and we’re probably at the best shape we could probably be in.”
For any badminton professional, a Commonwealth Games debut is a memorable moment, but for Vendy’s first experience to be in front of home fans will only add to the enormity of the occasion and the 26-year-old also believes that atmosphere can bring out the best in him.
Vendy played some of his best badminton when last in the second city for the YONEX All England Open, as he and Lane only lost out by the barest of margins to World Championship gold medallists Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in a three-set thriller.
The BWF Tour schedule can be gruelling so playing at home, after so long on the road, is an added bonus.
“I’ve struggled with the travelling recently, so it’s nice to get back home,” said Vendy.
View this post on Instagram
“The schedule is busy at the moment, so you just have to manage that as best you can.
“We can take a lot of confidence from the All England in March on home soil. We played really well there and should have beaten the world champions.
“So that was a real positive and makes me think we can be at our best in Birmingham.
“I can’t wait for that home crowd. In some ways, I don’t really know what to expect.
“The one court set-up will hopefully just add to the atmosphere, that is a really good idea.
“These Games could help push the sport in England, I genuinely believe that. Any time we can bring new fans to the sport is great, it will bring an extra energy.
“I just hope there is a good turnout and we can thrive in front of some home support, because that is when we play best.”
Be a part of the action in Birmingham this summer! BUY COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2022 TICKETS HERE: https://tickets.birmingham2022.com/
For full details and the badminton schedule, visit: Badminton (birmingham2022.com)