Badminton Life

England Dominate Poland

England enhanced their reputation as being among the top badminton nations in Europe when they beat Poland 5-0 during an international match in Swindon.

Having already beaten Germany over a series, 2-1, England wanted to prove against the Poles that they are the dominant team in the continent.

World number three Anthony Clark and Donna Kellog gave England a winning start in the mixed doubles with a 21-6, 21-6 thrashing of Wojciech Szkudlarcyk and Malgorzata Kurdelska.

Rajiv Ouseph, who has risen to 50 in the world, then increased his side's lead, easily defeating Przemyslaw Wacha 21-16, 21-13 in the men's singles rubber.

Ouseph was ecstatic after his victory because it was the first time he had beaten Wacha in three competitive meetings.

Poland's Anna Narel was determined to fight back for her country and made her intentions known when she took the first set off Elizabeth Cann in the women's singles.

However, Cann composed herself to level the scores before winning the match 15-21, 21-10, 21-12.

That gave England a winning 3-0 lead and took the pressure off the rest of the players.

In the women's doubles, Jenny Wallwork and Gabby White beat Kurdelska and Agnieszka Wojtkowska 21-19 21-13 for a 4-0 England lead.

Clark and Nathan Robertson rounded off the sweep in the men's doubles with a 21-14, 21-16 victory over Adam Cwalina and Szkudlarcyk.

The England team now travel to Warsaw for the return match in the series on December 16.

The encounter will give national coach Ian Wright with an ideal platform in which to prepare his team for the European Team Championships in Liverpool in February.

The English are recognised as one of the better teams in Europe.

However, they are still under the shadow of the powerful Danish team, both men's and women's, who are considered to the be the only European team capable of holding their own against the traditional badminton powers from Asia.

Nevertheless, neither the Danes nor the English were able to stamp their authority at the recent Olympic Games in Beijiing, where all the gold medals went to Asian teams, three of them to hosts China.

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