Milton Keynes badminton star Sean Vendy books place at Tokyo 2020
The 25-year-old hopes to pull off a shock and get a badminton medal
Tokyo 2020 was never part of Sean Vendy’s plan and the badminton ace insists he can play without pressure at his maiden Olympics.
Vendy and Ben Lane have been controversially chosen in the men’s doubles competition ahead of reigning Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.
Langridge has even launched an appeal against the decision but for now Milton Keynes star Vendy is concentrating on his first Games.
The 25-year-old insists the next Olympics in Paris was always his target, so he and Lane have a free swing against the best players in the world.
And Vendy – who was born in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands – has not ruled out a shot at a medal.
“If you look back at past Olympics, there has always been shock medallists,” he said. “Anything can happen. It is the biggest stage we have got, so that pressure can affect people differently. And normally it affects the ones at the top the most, they are the ones with the pressure
“We have beaten all the top players in the draw and pushed them. So we have a good record. The pressure is off.”
Lane and Vendy will be relying on coach Nathan Robertson to share some pearls of wisdom. Robertson and mixed doubles partner Gail Emms won silver in Athens 17 years ago and Vendy says it’s his dream to finish on the podium.
To do that they must qualify from a group of four, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals. The two losing pairs from the semi-finals will face off for bronze, which is how Ellis and Langridge secured their medal four years ago.
“It would be great if we could get a medal. That is the dream since we were kinds. Now we are at a stage where we can get one,” added Venty, whose exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.
“We know everyone on the circuit and will pay whoever is put in front of us. We have beaten pairs recently who we shouldn’t be.”
Langridge’s appeals process threatens to overshadow his selection but Vendy is adamant they don’t have to win a medal to justify their place.
He added. “I wouldn’t say we’re defending the bronze from Rio, we have our own goals. We are at a different stage to our career to what they were at the time so we will take it as it comes.”
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