English National Badminton Championships 2012
03-05 February, Bolton Arena

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CLARK - retiring, but ... ] ROBERTSON - the last one ] CANN - aims to regain ] RAJ - seeking a handful ] DRAWS released ] SEEDS announced ] [ PREVIEW ]

Ouseph, Robertson and Clark
out to set records at English Nationals

COMMONWEALTH silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph has his sights on a record five consecutive menís singles titles when the English National Championships are staged at Bolton Arena from February 3-5.

The Middlesex 25-year-old, who is the leading British singles player in the race for London 2012 qualification, last year equalled Darren Hallís four successive wins from 1986-1999. But no menís player has won five in a row at a Championships dating back to 1964 and Ouseph still has a long way to go to overhaul Hallís record 10 menís singles titles between 1986-1999.

Ousephís main rival will again be Kentís Carl Baxter, who has been the runner-up for the last four years.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Elizabeth Cann (Jersey) will also be bidding for a fifth title in the womenís singles but she will be up against 2011 winner Nicola Cerfontyne (Dorset) and runner-up Sarah Walker (Essex).

Doubles star Anthony Clark (Notts) may have called time on his international career at the end of 2011 but he is still determined to claim a menís doubles record.

Last year his record run of nine successive menís doubles titles came to an end when he suffered an eye injury just before the Championships. That denied him the chance to match the record tally of 10 titles held by menís doubles legend Mike Tredgett with Clark and Nathan Robertson both on nine wins, six of them in partnership.

Clark will team up with Kristian Roebuck (Derbyshire) for another title tilt but Chris Adcock (Notts) and Andrew Ellis (Yorks) will start as favourites. They were runners-up last year and Adcock has been a beaten finalist the last three years.

Defending champion Chris Langridge (Surrey) and new partner Peter Mills (Notts) will also be in contention while Ouseph is a surprise entry in the doubles, partnering Marcus Ellis (Yorks).

In the womenís doubles Bolton-born Jenny Wallwork and Gabby White (both Yorks) have won the title for the last two years but the Leeds pair will again have to withstand the threat from Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) and Heather Olver (Sussex).

Agathangelou and Olver have been runners-up for the last two years but have now moved above Wallwork and White in the world rankings as they chase Olympic qualification.

In the mixed doubles Wallwork and Robertson are out to make it a hat-trick of National titles together to add to the four Robertson won with Gail Emms. Adcock and White are again the main threat with Marcus Ellis and Olver also in contention while Mills and Agathangelou could spring a few surprises.

Victory would take Robertson (Notts) level with Tredgettís National title tally of 16 (10 menís doubles and six mixed). Last year Robertson collected his ninth menís doubles title when he deputised for Clark and won the title with Langridge.

Robertson and Clark are no strangers to Bolton Arena. They were part of the England squad which won the Commonwealth Games team gold there in 2002. They also won a menís doubles bronze while Clark won the mixed bronze with Sara Sankey.

The Championships had been planned for a ninth consecutive year at Manchester Velodrome but BADMINTON England have agreed to switch the venue to Bolton Arena to help Britainís cyclists prepare for the World Cup Classic, which is the Olympic Test event for London 2012.

Todayís entry list features players from all over England as they seize the opportunity to take on some of the GB squad players hoping to qualify for London 2012.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture & Leisure for Manchester City Council: "In Manchester we are proud of our track record for hosting major sports events and the English National Badminton Championships is a great example of how our partnerships with National Governing Bodies of Sport can deliver top-class events.

ďThese events help to support our development programmes, which provide residents with opportunities to get involved in sport whether it be through playing, coaching, volunteering or spectating.

ďThe event is also a crucial stepping stone in athletes' preparations for London 2012, and I am sure that visitors to the event will witness some top-class badminton action over the weekend."

The English National Championships, which is part of the National Championship series across all age groups, will be staged in Bolton Arena thanks to the special partnership BADMINTON England enjoys with Manchester City Council, racket and equipment company Carlton and Case Security.

Menís singles: Rajiv Ouseph (Middx).
Womenís singles: Nicola Cerfontyne (Dorset)
Menís doubles: Chris Langridge (Surrey) & Nathan Robertson (Notts)
Womenís doubles: Jenny Wallwork & Gabby White (both Yorkshire)
Mixed doubles: Nathan Robertson (Notts) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks)

CLARK - retiring, but ... ] ROBERTSON - the last one ] CANN - aims to regain ] RAJ - seeking a handful ] DRAWS released ] SEEDS announced ] [ PREVIEW ]

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