Nathan Robertson has been named top seed in both the men’s and mixed doubles at the English National Championships at the Velodrome in Manchester from February 5-7.
Seven-times champion Robertson and men’s doubles partner Anthony Clark are the defending champions and Clark is bidding for an amazing ninth men’s doubles title in a row, which would be a record for consecutive wins. The pair have won the title five times together and their main rivals are second seeds Chris Adcock and Robert Blair, who is a two-time former winner with Clark.
Clark is bidding for a fourth mixed title in a row following his three wins with Donna Kellogg. The pair are European champions but with Kellogg having retired last month, Clark tackles the mixed doubles with new partner Heather Olver.
The Malaysian Open last week was their first tournament together and they beat the seventh seeds to reach the last 16 before losing to Robertson and Jenny Wallwork. It means Robertson and Wallwork are top seeds as they bid to win their first English National title together following Robertson’s four wins with World, European and Commonwealth gold medal partner Gail Emms.
Adcock and Gabby White are a big threat to the top two pairs as No. 3 contenders in the seeding list announced today.
White and Wallwork are top seeds in the women’s doubles following Kellogg’s retirement with six title triumphs to her name, including five in a row. Last year’s runners-up can expect their main challenge to come from Olver and Mariana Agathangelou.
In the men’s singles Rajiv Ouseph is bidding for a third title in a row while in the women’s singles Elizabeth Cann is aiming to recapture the title she lost to Jill Pittard last year in a gripping final.
The Jersey star has lifted the trophy three times and is a firm favourite after reaching the final of the Swedish International in Stockholm on Sunday. Cheshire’s Helen Davies is seeded to meet her in the final.
The English National Championships are being staged in Manchester for the seventh year in a row and are made possible by the special partnership between BADMINTON England, Manchester City Council, racket and equipment company Carlton, Internet retailers sportdiscount.com and Imperial Consultants ,with support from the Manchester Evening News.
The National Championships mark the first of two major badminton events taking place in Manchester in the next three months. From April 14-18 the M. E. N. Arena will host the Yonex European Championships.
The draw for the English Nationals will be announced on Tuesday.
For further information check out the English Nationals website at www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk
SEEDS FOR THE ENGLISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1 Rajiv Ouseph (Middx)
2 Andrew Smith (Hants)
3 Carl Baxter (Avon)
4 Harry Wright (Lancs)
5 Ben Beckman (Surrey)
6 Nathan D'Cruz (Middx)
7 Jamie Bonsels (Yorks)
8 Chris Hotchen (Gloucs)
1 Elizabeth Cann (Jersey)
2 Helen Davies (Chesh)
3 Rachel Howard (Herts)
4 Alex Langley (Notts)
1 Anthony Clark & Nathan Robertson (both Notts)
2 Robert Blair & Chris Adcock (Leics/Notts)
3 Peter Mills & Marcus Ellis (Notts/Yorks)
4 Robin Middleton & Chris Langridge (Yorks/Surrey)
1 Jenny Wallwork & Gabby White (both Yorks)
2 Heather Olver & Mariana Agathangelou (Sussex/Avon)
3 Jessica Fletcher & Sarah Milne (both Yorks)
4 Alex Langley & Lauren Smith (Notts/Cumbira)
1 Nathan Robertson & Jenny Wallwork (Notts/Yorks)
2 Anthony Clark & Heather Olver (Notts/Sussex)
3 Chris Adcock & Gabby White (Notts/Yorks)
4 Robin Middleton & Mariana Agathangelou (Yorks/Avon)