MK badminton stars net gold for England at Euros

England’s badminton players put their funding troubles behind them to enjoy golden success at the 2017 European Championships, writes Emma Eveleigh.

The Championships, held in Kolding, Denmark, couldn’t have come at a better time for Loughton-based Badminton England following UK Sport’s decision to withdraw all funding for the GB Badminton World Class Performance Programme earlier this year.

Ever the professionals, the team from the National Badminton Centre arrived with their eyes on the top prize and by the end of the week were celebrating after winning two gold medals and a bronze.

20170430_1638_EuropeanChampionships2017_BPYN8108.jpg

England’s number one men’s singles player Rajiv Ouseph (above), who lives in MK, kicked off the gold rush with a 21-19 21-19 victory over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen.

Not only was he the first Englishman to become European champion for 27 years but he also got married the following week to round off a perfect month!

He said: “Everyone has put a lot of hard work into training and trying to turn around the situation.

“The best thing about the week for me was how consistent I was. I was injured at the beginning of the year and only played three or four tournaments so getting a few wins and being consistent for a full week was great.

“The week as a whole – everything just clicked for me.”

20170430_1818_EuropeanChampionships2017_BPYN8559.jpg

In the mixed doubles, Chris and Gabby Adcock (above), who also live in MK, overcame top seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen on their home soil.

It was a mammoth 78-minute battle but the English duo claimed the crown, 21-17 18-21 21-19.

Gabby said: “It’s something as an athlete you want to be – European champion – so it’s one of the achievements we can now tick off the list.

“We are so happy at the minute and so excited for the year to come as well.”

Chris added: “We have achieved something really good and that can help Badminton England. Hopefully younger generations will see this and think they can do the same.”

There was also a bronze medal for women’s doubles pairing Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker.

Badminton England is asking the public to #backbadminton by investing in the elite squad to give them the best possible chance of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Visit http://www.badmintonengland.co.uk/backbadminton

20170430_1631_EuropeanChampionships2017_BPYN8017.jpg
Photos by Badminton Photo

This article was first published in the June issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Click on this link or on the photo below to read the full digital edition.

12-13.jpg

Check http://www.celebratemk.co.uk regularly for more news and features from around Milton Keynes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s