Badminton Life

English Win in Toulouse

Whilst most of the big name badminton stars will be getting themselves mentally and physically prepared for the Olympic Games, the stage is open for some of the more unfancied players to make their mark on the game.

In any sport, it can be hard to make a name for yourself if you are out with the top ranked players and badminton is no exception. The use of seedings when devising tournaments means that many players find that they are frequently drawn against the top players and find they have little opportunity to progress. Those that do need to get lucky or improve greatly or make the most of the situation when some of the top players are unavailable.

English duo of Richard Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis notched up their best partnership victory when they were triumphant in Toulouse at the Volant d'Or Open. The victory was a surprise as it came over strongly favoured Belgian dup Frederic Mawet and Wouter Claes. The English duo may have been listed as 157th in the entire world but they quickly set about winning the event and had the final wrapped up in under half an hour.

The score of 21-12, 21-12 tells you everything about the dominance shown by the two and was a just reward for their strong play throughout the tournament.

They had shown strength in the face of adversity when they rallied back from being a game down against UK rivals Andrew Bowman from Scotland and Matthew Honey from England. This three match semi-final proved to be much tougher than their victory in the final. The duo also had a three set match earlier in the quarter finals where they eventually triumphed over the Indonesian pair of Fran Kurniawan and Rendra Wijava.

If victories come in two sets then it makes it a bit easier but the strength of a partnership is shown by the way they battle back from tough times and the Doubles glory was fully deserved but probably not surprising. The form shown by the two has been increasing in recent times and very recently they reached the semi-finals of the Spanish Open.

This Madrid based tournament indicated that the duo was finding their feet but France was the true occasion where they announced themselves to the world. When you consider their previous best showing was reaching the final of the Welsh International in 2006, the duo has progressed a lot recently.

The problem is that England has a great number of quality badminton players already so Eidestedt and Ellis may find it difficult to break into the upper echelon of the domestic game but with performances like this, they are giving themselves every opportunity. The old guard may be about to perform in Beijing but they may find they have a new challenge waiting for them at home when they return.

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