Commonwealth Games: Huddersfield's Marcus Ellis helps put Team England one step closer to a medal in mixed badminton doubles
Huddersfield shuttler Marcus Ellis put the demons from a disappointing defeat to Singapore behind him to bounce back in style with a 2-0 mixed doubles win over Canada at the Commonwealth Games.
The victory proved the perfect foundations to help England through to the semi-finals of the badminton mixed team event in Birmingham, where they will face Malaysia.
Ellis admitted his confidence was knocked from the duo’s comprehensive 4-1 defeat on Saturday but showed little sign of it to cruise past Ty Lindeman and Josephine Wu 21-12, 21-9 alongside Lauren Smith.
“After yesterday, our confidence took a bit of battering because it was quite a comfortable loss and we weren’t expecting that,” said Ellis.
“So today, to come out and do that against a strong Canadian team, it’s only a positive thing.
“We knew we could play a lot better than we did yesterday and I think we were very disappointed personally in our performances.
“To get another chance today, to come out and show people the positive side – we’re very happy with it.”
Toby Penty followed up the pair’s victory with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Brian Yang, before Sean Vendy and Ben Lane finished the job with another 2-0 triumph, this time over Adam Dong and Nyl Kiyoshi Yakura.
It means the mixed team, also including Freya Patel-Redfearn and Chloe Birch are now tantalisingly close to a medal, as they hope to go one better than their bronze in 2018. And Smith is hoping to take plenty of confidence from the team’s performance as they face the tough task of 2018 silver medallists Malaysia.
“If you look at the momentum we got in the second game, that’s what I’d call a groove,” said Smith.
“Today we went out with a fresh mindset, let yesterday slip out of our minds. We really stamped our authority and hopefully it will help the team with a bit of momentum. Whatever happens on the court, we need to have more presence. If we’re down, we need to still show them that we’re fighting.”
The entire England team were roared on by a raucous home crowd at the NEC in Birmingham.
Every point was met with a deafening cheer from all four stands around the main court, and Ellis lauded being able to play in front of such a crowd.
“Being on this centre court is pretty special,” said Ellis.
“Every single tournament we’ve been to in the past it’s never, ever been like this with a centre court where the seats are surrounding the court. The atmosphere is something we’ve not experienced before.”
In other news, a record number of people have bought tickets to watch the women’s T20 cricket at the Commonwealth Games. Over 150,000 tickets have been sold, beating the previous record of 136,549, which was set at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
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