Badminton England is bracing itself for the biggest and best Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in the tournament’s illustrious history.

Just about all the world’s top players having entered the tournament at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena from March 9-14.

But that’s the pulling power of the All England as the oldest and most prestigious event in world badminton as the tournament prepares to become the first to celebrate 100 Championships.

Last year China won all five titles – the first nation to do so since Denmark in 1948 – and they are back in force to make another assault on the top prizes in this third BWF Super Series event of the year.

Four of the five 2009 champions are back to defend their crowns, with only women’s doubles winners Zhang Yawen and Zhao Tingting missing following their retirement from the sport.

World and Olympic champion Lin Dan is bidding for his seventh consecutive final appearance and his fifth men’s singles title while Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who followed up his BWF Super Series Masters triumph in December by lifting the Korea and Malaysian titles in January, will again be his main rival.

Wang Yihan, the unseeded newcomer who won last year’s women’s singles, is back to defend her title as China hold down five of the top six places in the world rankings in that event.

In the singles England have Middlesex’s two-time English National champion Rajiv Ouseph and Hampshire’s Andrew Smith, both world top 30 players, in the main men’s singles draw but Nationals runner-up Carl Baxter (Avon) looks like he will have to qualify.

In the women’s singles the entry is so strong that four-times National champion Elizabeth Cann and Scotland’s Commonwealth bronze medallist Susan Egelstaff are both faced with the prospect of qualifying.

Nathan Robertson, who is the only current GB player to have won an All England title following his mixed doubles triumph with Gail Emms in 2005, will lead the home challenge in the doubles events as he and Anthony Clark (both Notts) look to reproduce the form which swept them to the Singapore Open title last June.

Clark also notched a record ninth consecutive National men’s doubles title when he and Robertson triumphed in Manchester a week ago.

Robertson, who missed last year’s All England with a virus, will also be looking to make an impact in the mixed doubles with Yorkshire’s Jenny Wallwork following their first English National title triumph together.

Clark, who reached the quarter-finals last year with Donna Kellogg (Derbyshire), will tackle his first All England with new partner Heather Olver (Sussex) while Chris Adcock (Notts) and Gabby White (Yorkshire) are England’s highest ranked mixed pair at No. 17.

In the women’s doubles Wallwork and White, the Leeds pair who reached the quarter-finals last year, will lead the home challenge in that event after a 12-month period which has seen them climb to the brink of the world’s top 20.

There will be a special ‘100’ look to the Championships this year with lots of new attractions on the concourse to entertain fans between matches.

The qualifying rounds start at 12 noon on Tuesday, March 9 and are again open to the public. Play on the Wednesday and Thursday starts at 10am with the quarter-finals on Friday from 5pm. The semi-finals on Saturday are from 1pm with the finals on the Sunday from the earlier time of 12noon to include the ‘100 Celebrations’.

To view the complete list of entries go to:

For Ticket Information and other news go to