Rajiv Ouseph showed he is in impressive form at the start to this Commonwealth Games year by securing his third successive men’s singles title at the English National Championships.
Ouseph, who has his sights set on a place on the England team to compete at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, became the first player to win a hat-trick of successive men’s singles titles since Darren Hall in 1991.
Ouseph beat number three seed Carl Baxter in Sunday’s final at the Manchester Velodrome 21-15 13-21 21-7. Baxter had earlier beaten number two seed Andrew Smith in the semis.
All three players are currently ranked in the top 35 in the world, with Ouseph at 24, Smith at 26 and Baxter 34.
Meanwhile Anthony Clark, who has represented England at two Commonwealth Games, maintained his stranglehold on the men’s doubles title by winning it for the ninth time in a row, a record for successive wins.
He and partner Nathan Robertson – bronzes medalists for England in the men's doubles at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games - beat number two seeds Robert Blair and Chris Adcock 21-14, 21-19 in the final.
All five competitions at the English Nationals were won by the top seeds, with Elizabeth Cann beating Helen Davies in the women’s singles final 23-21 21-15 and with Jenny Wallwork & Gabby White beating Mariana Agathangelou & Heather Olver 21-19 21-23 21-11 in the women’s doubles final.
Nathan Robertson captured a second title of the weekend in the mixed doubles. Robertson, who won mixed doubles gold at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games partnering Gail Emms, took the mixed doubles final at this year’s English Nationals with Jenny Wallwork, beating Anthony Clark and Heather Olver 21-15 21-11 in the final.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport. Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.
Team England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes. Sport England is a major funder of the England team at the Commonwealth Games. Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers.
Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.
For further information please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on 07765 071683 or 07831 755351, or see the CGE’s website at www.weareengland.org
For further information about Badminton England please see the badminton England website at www.badmintonengland.co.uk