Let the shuttlecocks fly

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Thousands of fans are set to fill the arena at stadium:mk this weekend for the English National Badminton Championships.

On Saturday and Sunday, the country’s best players will hit the courts to battle it out to be crowned champions.

The tournament is the latest high-profile sporting event to be held in Milton Keynes, but it is even more significant for Badminton England, whose headquarters are in Loughton.

Chris Adcock, who will be competing in the mixed doubles with wife Gabby Adcock, and men’s doubles with Andy Ellis, said: “The city prides itself on being a sporting city and any event we can bring to Milton Keynes is great.

“We’re looking forward to having the home advantage, and it can only be good for the quality of the tournament.”

Gabby, added: “People will see a good level of badminton. If you don’t see it live, you don’t get the gist of how fast and fit the athletes are.

“It’s going to be a good event for people to come and watch some really competitive badminton.”

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman, whose Arena will host the event, said he was honoured to be holding the championships.

“It is really exciting that this weekend we hold our first big event in the Arena,” he said.

“We are honoured to be hosting the National Badminton Championships and I am sure Milton Keynes will welcome the opportunity to see Badminton’s elite players competing on the national stage.”