Notts badminton stars aiming high at All England Championships

Chris and Gabby Adcock
Chris and Gabby Adcock
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Gabby Adcock insists she and husband Chris are determined to build on their big finish to 2015 at this year’s YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships.

The Ravenshead-based world number seven pair will once again compete in the mixed doubles as the great and good of world badminton descend on Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena from March 8-13.

Southwell badminton star Peter Mills.

Southwell badminton star Peter Mills.

Last year saw the Adcocks enjoy their best-ever YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships as they reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual runners up Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir from Indonesia.

But the pair didn’t stop there and signed off from 2015 with victory in the Dubai World Superseries Finals, and ahead of Birmingham Gabby is eyeing up more of the same.

“We always have that confidence in ourselves but it’s always different when you go and actually deliver it and come home with the title,” she said.

“I think it’s come at a really good time and we’ve had a good break over Christmas, especially after ending the year on a high.

“So Christmas was really nice and we’re looking forward to our next major championships, which is the YONEX All England. We’ve had a really solid training block and we’ve been able to build on that.

“My memory of last year is of two points! It was really close, we played a very good game and it was really long with Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir from Indonesia.

“Obviously we were absolutely gutted that we didn’t get over the line and hopefully we can correct that this year and go a step further. I think we’ve improved since then, results have shown that. It’s a really exciting time and we’re looking to get out there at the YONEX All England Championships.”

The YONEX All England Badminton Championships is a key event ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

And Gabby admits that after watching husband Chris exit in the first round of London 2012 with then-partner Imogen Bankier, thoughts of Brazil are never far from her mind.

“The Olympics is still a little while away for us, so we’ve got tournaments we want to peak for before then,” she added.

“It’s definitely something though that drives us in training every day. Every day we wake up and it’s in the forefront of our minds that we want to do well at the Olympics.

“We can’t have any off days in training and we really need to get that consistency to give us the best chance to deliver on the day. It’s a really exciting year ahead and it’s something we definitely do think we can do well at.”

Meanwhile, Southwell’s Peter Mills is convinced his new-look partnership with Sean Vendy can propel the pair to the summit of English badminton.

Mills and Vendy will turn their attentions to the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham next month, with the sole aim of causing an upset or two against the world’s best players.

Their partnership may be in its infancy, but Mills is convinced the duo complements each other perfectly and the relationship possesses the correct ingredients to propel them up the world rankings.

“I’m really excited about the partnership,” said Mills. “It’s something totally new and we play in the NBL together so we have the experience of stepping on court.

“You always hear some names that have been doing well at the junior ages and a lot of people would describe them as a young talent who has an exciting future.

“I’ve heard a lot about Sean and now I’m starting to see it more. He’s been training in Milton Keynes a little while now and I’ve seen it in the NBL, some of the things he can do a lot of people can’t.

“He is only a very young guy so hopefully I can pass on some experience that I’ve gained and he can develop even more as a player so I’m really looking forward to getting started.

“We’ve had a few good results and some good matches so it’s a good start for us to see where we’re at. The YONEX All England couldn’t be a bigger tournament to start with.

“We all talk about the prestige of the tournament and it’s going to be Sean’s first and our first, so it’s a great opportunity to go out there and do our best.”

Mills, who has been plagued with a hand injury in recent weeks, has no concerns about his fitness ahead of the season’s showpiece event at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, with the action kicking off on March 8.

And Mills admitted the prospect of playing in such a prestigious tournament in front of friends and family in Birmingham, was an opportunity he is relishing to grab with both hands.

“I absolutely love the YONEX All England, there’s no opportunity like it in the UK,” added Mills.

“To play in front of all those home fans, I think it entices 35,000 people a year so to play in front of family and friends and all of the other supporters, you can’t ask for more.

“You come off feeling better than you ever did, especially if you win. It brings you alive because everyone there wants you to win.”

Watch the world’s best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena from 8-13 March. For tickets visit www.allenglandbadminton.com