No time for friends at the National Championships

Gabby Adcock
Gabby Adcock

The country’s top badminton stars are set to go head-to-head in this weekend’s English National Championships in Milton Keynes.

Five championships will be decided during the course of the tournament at the arena in stadium:mk - men’s singles, doubles, women’s singles, doubles and the mixed doubles.

Gabby and Chris Adcock

Gabby and Chris Adcock

Chris Adcock will be competing in both the men’s and mixed doubles competitions.

He will be playing alongside wife Gabby in the mixed competition, and he hopes the pair, who are top seeds, can hit top form and claim the title.

But he admits training alongside his competitors on a daily basis could throw up some interesting results.

He said: “We all know each other well, we train with each other three times a day. It’s as much a guessing game.

“Odd things can happen when you play against your training partners in every sport.

“It’ll be an exciting tournament and we know if we can play at the level we have been doing recently, we’ll be in with a good shout.

“You know each other inside out, and it’s always an interesting.”

Chris Adcock also goes into the men’s doubles as top seed, along with playing partner Andy Mills.

But reigning champions and second seeds Pete Mills and Chris Langridge are hoping to retain their titles in front of their friends and family.

Mills said: “Obviously we’d like to go there and retain our title. We are going in as number 2 seeds, but we’ll go out and aim to win.

“Playing against your team-mates is always tough. We’ve got loads of other competitions going on at the moment, and this is one we want to go out and do our best in.

“All your family and friends can come and see you. We travel all over the world playing badminton, and it’s nice to play in front of people who you see around the centre here.”

Langridge added: “Chris: I’d love to win it again. Although I’ve won it a few times, each time it gets more impressive.

“We will try our best as always, but if it’s good enough on the day then it is, but if it’s not, there are other tournaments out there.”

Rajiv Ouseph goes in to the tournament as favourite to life the men’s title.

The world number 11 is looking to make it his seventh English National Championship win in a row, and astonishingly, he has only lost one game in the tournament since 2010.

Sarah Walker will be seeking only her second title when she defends her crown.

Last year’s runner-up Fontaine Chapman is second seed, 2011 winner Nicola Cerfontyne is seeded four and five-times champion Elizabeth Cann is the eighth seed.

In the women’s doubles, defending champions Gabby Adcock and Lauren Smith are second seeds behind Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw.

Adcock is chasing her fifth consecutive women’s doubles title.

Although England’s GB squad players dominate the seedings, there will be some dangerous floaters in the draw.

Former champions Gail Emms and Ella Tripp could be a threat in the women’s doubles as they have nine titles between them in that event.

And Emms is partnering Marcus Ellis in the mixed doubles which she won six times.

Former champions Wallwork and Suzanne Rayappan are also a pair to watch in the women’s doubles while Wallwork could be a danger in the mixed with Mills.

>> Tickets are still available at www.nationalbadmintonchamps.co.uk