Rajiv Ouseph will look to build on last weekend’s Yonex US Open success when he heads to Paris for the Yonex BWF World Championships at the Stadium Pierre de Coubertin from August 23-29.
The 23-year-old from Hounslow in Middlesex, who today moved into the world’s top 20 for the first time at No. 18, is in the nine-strong squad confirmed today by BADMINTON England.
The three-times English National champion and European bronze medallist will be joined in the men’s singles by two-times English Nationals runner-up and world No 31 Carl Baxter (Avon).
Ouseph said: “The US Open was the biggest win of my career so far. Now I am looking forward to bigger challenges, especially the World Championships in Paris.”
The line-up also includes 2006 world mixed doubles champion Nathan Robertson and men’s doubles partner Anthony Clark, who won silver medals in mixed and men’s doubles at the same championships in Madrid.
Robertson and Clark are England’s best medal hopes in the squad, having won the 2009 Singapore Open title to give England their first Super Series title. They are ranked No 20 in the world and are the 2004 European silver medallists.
Robertson and Clark are joined in the men’s doubles by Yorkshire’s Robin Middleton and Surrey’s Chris Langridge while Leeds pair Gabby White and Jenny Wallwork will tackle the women’s doubles, where they are ranked No 19 in the world.
World No 12s Robertson and Wallwork are each tackling two events in Paris. The European bronze medallists lead England’s mixed doubles challenge in Paris along with Chris Adcock and White.
But European women’s doubles bronze medallists Heather Olver (Sussex) and Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) have seen their World Championship hopes dashed by injury.
They qualified for the women’s doubles but Agathangelou’s tendonitis in the foot has forced her and Olver to turn down their invitation to compete. Agathangelou has also missed out on the mixed doubles with Middleton because of the injury.
But Middleton and Agathangelou’s loss Adcock and White’s gain. The former world junior silver medallists, who are one place above Middleton and Agathangelou in today’s world rankings at No. 22, were promoted from the reserve list to join Robertson and Wallwork in the mixed doubles and they have accepted the BWF’s invitation to compete.
The England squad will prepare for Paris with a training trip to Copenhagen, where they will practise against Denmark’s top players.
All nine England players competing in Paris as well as Olver and Agathagelou will be leading contenders for the England squad when next year’s BWF World Championships are held in London for the first time.
BADMINTON England are to stage the 2011 World Championships at Wembley Arena from August 8-14. A year further on Wembley Arena will also be the London 2012 Olympic badminton venue.
England Squad (world rankings as of July 29):
Rajiv Ouseph (Middlesex, Age 23) World ranking 18
Carl Baxter (Avon, 24) World ranking 32
Nathan Robertson (Notts, 33) & Anthony Clark (Notts, 32) World ranking 20
Robin Middleton (Yorks, 25) & Chris Langridge (Surrey) World ranking 35
Jenny Wallwork (Yorks, 23) & Gabby White (Yorks, 19) World ranking 19
Nathan Robertson & Jenny Wallwork. World ranking 12
Chris Adcock (Notts, 21) & Gabby White World ranking 22
Coaches: Andy Wood, Kenneth Jonassen, Julian Robertson.
Performance Analyst: Hannah Behan. Physio: Matt Ashman.