Seventh heaven for champion Ouseph

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Rajiv Ouseph won his seventh English National Badminton Championship in a row in Milton Keynes on Sunday.

The tournament, held in the Arena at stadium:mk, also saw Chris Adcock do the doubles-double, winning the men’s with playing partner Andrew Ellis and the mixed doubles with wife Gabby.

The Adcock clean-sweep continued with Gabby winning the women’s doubles with Lauren Smith.

In doing so Adcock matched former England stars Donna Kellogg (2005-2009) and Maggie Beck (1967-71) in winning the women’s doubles title five years in a row.

Sarah Walker retained her women’s singles title with an 18-21 21-9 21-17 win over five-times champion Elizabeth Cann, playing her seventh final.

In the men’s final top seed Ouseph defeated Coventry’s England Under 19 champion and eighth seed Sam Parsons 21-9 21-8.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story, as Ouseph fought back from two match points against Ben Beckman in the semi-final.

Having just wrapped up his seventh consecutive national championship, Ouseph now sets his sights on Darren Hall’s 10 titles (1986-99) from 14 finals, but isn’t getting too far ahead of himself just yet.

Ouseph said: “I am 27 now and I would like to carry on to the Rio Olympics which would mean I could get to nine.

“But I’ll just take it a year at a time.”

Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis beat reigning champions Chris Langridge and Peter Mills 21-18 21-11 in the final, and was delighted to add the title to his list of honours.

In truth, few would have expected any different with the Adcocks having climbed to number five in the world rankings after winning the Hong Kong Open in November.

But Chris insists that turning up and winning is easier said than done, especially when everyone wants to know you off your perch.

He said: “We’ve come into the tournament with not much to gain, we’ve got a big target on our backs in both events,” he said.

“But it’s a great feeling to win the English Nationals as it always is.

“We’ll use it as a building block to hopefully go on to bigger and better things.

“We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward and we’ve got to make sure we leave a good history and even more titles to come.

“We got our last Superseries title in Hong Kong but we’re not thinking about that, we want to use that to gain more and more.

“We are not happy with one, we want to go on and get as many as we can. It’s very tough but we believe we can do it.

“The final was quite bitty but we both came out on top quite comfortably and we played pretty well. So I’m happy with the weekend.”

The Adcocks became the first married couple to lift the mixed doubles title since David and Jenny Horton won back in 1967 as they beat defending champions Langridge and Heather Olver 21-18 21-16 in the final.

Gabby added: “I’ve just found out that statistic and it’s pretty cool actually.

“Obviously we really wanted to get our National title back and I’m really happy with getting the double win.”

>> Tickets for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the NIA in Birmingham are available at www.allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994