Ouseph aims for a Nationals
hat-trick in Manchester
RAJIV OUSEPH is aiming to go one better than Manchester’s
Colin Haughton when he defends his men’s singles title at the
English National Badminton Championships at Manchester Velodrome
Haughton won the title three times in four years before the
event moved to Manchester in 2004 but Ouseph is bidding to
become the first man to win three in a row since 10-times
champion Darren Hall in 1991.
In today’s draw Ouseph will start his bid against Somerset’s
Stuart Rowlands on Friday morning and he will face a second
match on day one against Surrey’s Jack Molyneux or
Arthur Cheung of Bucks.
The 23-year-old from Middlesex is the only man in the draw to
have won the title. Jersey’s Mark Constable, who won for
Warwickshire in 2002, has been forced to withdraw from the
Elizabeth Cann is the player to beat in the women’s
singles as she chases her fourth title. She is the only previous
winner in the women’s draw. The top seed from Jersey has a
first-round bye but will then meet Yorkshire’s Steffi Clarke
or Hertfordshire’s Helena Lewczynska.
champions Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson are top
seeds in the men’s doubles where Clark is chasing a ninth win in
a row, which would be a record for consecutive victories.
Robertson has won the title seven times.
The Nottinghamshire pair’s first real test should come in the
quarter-finals on Saturday when the 2009 Singapore Open winners
can expect to face fourth seeds and recent Swedish International
winners Chris Langridge (Surrey) and Robin Middleton
Gabby White and Jenny Wallwork, the women’s doubles
runners-up last year, are favourites to lift the title this year
and the Leeds pair, who are in the world’s top 25, face an
opening match against Lauren Bromley (Staffs) and
Emily Westwood (Herts).
But second seeds Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) and
Heather Olver (Sussex) have a danger pair in their half with
former doubles and two-time singles champion Tracey Hallam
(Staffs) coming out of retirement to partner Kelly Matthews
Irish International winners Agathangelou and Olver start off
against Norfolk pair Katherine Cooper and Julie Pike
while Hallam and Matthews meet Cheshire’s Gill Dabek and
Yorkshire’s Harriet Shillito.
Hallam is the only previous women’s doubles champion in the
line-up having won with Donna Kellogg two years ago.
In the mixed doubles Robertson and Wallwork, the top
seeds, have a first-round bye along with second seeds Clark
and Olver, who are playing their first Nationals together.
Robertson and Wallwork are drawn in the same half as third seeds
Adcock and White while Spanish International winners and
Irish International runners-up Middleton and Agathangelou
are the big dangers in Clark and Olver’s half.
Clark is aiming for a fourth consecutive mixed title after three
wins with Kellogg, who retired in December. Robertson, a
four-time winner with Gail Emms, is chasing his first title with
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