Ravenshead badminton stars head for India

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Ravenshead pair Chris and Gabby Adcock are part of England’s two badminton squads heading for India to compete in the Li-Ning BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals this week.

The men’s squad start their world team championship challenge against Japan in Group B on Sunday morning with the women’s squad facing Taipei in their Group W opener in the afternoon session at the Siri Fort complex in Delhi.

Matches are made up of three singles and two doubles in the group stages with all five contests being played but it is the first nation to three wins in the knockout rounds. The top two teams in each group will go into the quarter-finals.

The big test for England’s women will come on Monday when they take on the Chinese team who are defending champions.

The Thomas Cup squad will be back in action on Tuesday when they meet Denmark in a repeat of February’s European Team Championship final, which the Danes won 3-1.

Wednesday will see both teams in evening action when the men take on Hong Kong and the women meet Russia.

China are the defending champions in both the Thomas and Uber Cups. It is the first time since 2006 that both England squads have reached the finals. Only the men’s squad reached the finals two years ago in Wuhan, China.

It will be a great experience for England’s younger players, especially 18-year-old Sam Parsons, who is set to make his international debut.

The Coventry prospect joins Nuneaton’s Rhys Walker in the squad for their first taste of Thomas Cup final action. The same applies, in particular to Fontaine Chapman, Panuga Riou and Alyssa Lim among the Uber Cup squad.

Team leader Pete Jeffrey expects the more experienced plays like Rajiv Ouseph, Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis will help the younger players to settle quickly for this exciting challenge.

In the men’s event Europe are also represented by Denmark, France, Germany and Russia. In the women’s event they are joined by the Danes, Germans and Russians.

The England men’s squad is - Singles: Rajiv Ouseph, Sam Parsons, Toby Penty, Rhys Walker; Doubles: Chris Adcock, Andy Ellis, Chris Langridge, Peter Mills, Marcus Ellis.

The England women’s squad is - Singles: Nicola Cerfontyne, Fontaine Chapman, Panuga Riou, Sarah Walker; Doubles: Gabby Adcock, Alyssa Lim, Heather Olver, Kate Robertshaw, Lauren Smith.


Thomas Cup Group B

Sunday (9am): Denmark v Hong Kong, Japan v England

Tuesday (2pm): Denmark v England, Japan v Hong Kong

Wednesday (7pm): Japan v Denmark, Hong Kong v England

Uber Cup Group W

Sunday (2pm): China v Russia, Chinese Taipei v England

Monday (9am): China v England, Chinese Taipei v Russia

Wednesday (7pm): China v Chinese Taipei, England v Russia


Thursday (noon and 6pm): Quarter-finals

Friday (noon and 6pm): Semi-finals

Saturday (3pm): Uber Cup Final

Sunday (3pm): Thomas Cup Final