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Badminton All England 2010: British mixed doubles lead home hopes

Doubles specialists' Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson started day two of the All England Open berating their defeat in the men's event before experiencing contrasting emotions as England progressed with two mixed doubles pairs to the All England Open last eight.

Such is the strength of these 100th Badminton Championships, experience is telling here but Clark and Heather Olver, playing only their second major tournament together, tore up the doubles manual to record a superb 21-18, 22-10 win in 33 minutes over Chinese Taipei's Sheng Mu Lee and Yu Chin Chien.

One home pair through seemed to ease the pain after earlier defeats in the men's singles and doubles events but Robertson and partner Jenny Wallwork then gave British fans double delight when they defeated Danish world champions Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl 21-14 ,16-21, 21-15.

Crufts dog show may be taking place across the city but their quarter-final opponents - Indonesia's former double world champions Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir - will be no walk in the park.

But Robertson said: "If we play like that we are capable of beating anybody."

After denting British hopes in the men's doubles with his insipid second round defeat with Robertson, Clark was clearly a man on a mission as he earlier closed the match on his knees. He almost willed the National Indoor Arena sideways, too, such was his knee-dropping, clench-fisting joy.

Clark and Olver, a Bath University graduate and looking the ideal replacement after Donna Kellogg's retirement in December, looked sharp and focused as they controlled the 14-minute opening game.

They then led 14-9 in the second but the experienced Taipei duo, who replaced Denmark's Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen in the main draw, kept plugging away and moved to game point.

Clark, though, kept his cool and finished expertly down the middle to level at 20-20 before he repeated the feat to take the match.

Clark said: "To get to the quarter-finals of the All England, our home championships, is an amazing feeling. Not many people can claim to achieve that. I have beaten every player here so there is no reason why we can't progress.

"Heather is still young and we haven't been playing together long, but already we are playing great badminton."

"I always try to lift them onto my side," Clark said afterwards, referring to the slightly-reserved British crowd.

The English pair will play Korean pair Lee Yong Dae and Lee Hyo Jung, the current Olympic mixed champions, for a place in the semi-finals.

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