Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson is named in one of Team England’s strongest badminton squads for the forthcoming international match against Japan at the University of Bath.
The squad features all four of the six-strong Great Britain badminton team at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games who are still playing competitive badminton.
Tickets are still available for the big night of badminton action, which gets underway at the Sports Training Village at 6.45pm on Friday 16 October.
Robertson won the mixed doubles silver in Athens as well as the 2006 World Championships and Commonwealth Games gold medals, with the now retired Gail Emms.
He teams up with Anthony Clark for the men’s doubles contests in an eight-strong Team England squad for the international match in Bath, as well as for a repeat performance at Loughborough the following day.
Robertson and Clark, the reigning English national champions, are ranked 10 in the world and won the won the Singapore Open in June.
Clark and Donna Kellogg – the reigning mixed doubles European champions – will team up for one of the matches – either in Bath or Loughborough, with Robertson likely to partner Jenny Wallwork at the other.
Kellogg, also a Beijing 2008 Olympian, and Wallwork, will contest the women’s doubles contest.
World number 28 men’s singles player Andrew Smith will play both matches while three-time English National champion Elizabeth Cann is likely to play both women’s singles if her comeback from injury goes well at this week’s Bitburger Saarlorlux Open in Saarbrucken, Germany.
Team England, who are supported by Center Parcs, played Japan in the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championship in May in Guangzhou, China, when they scored a resounding 4-1 win in a match which marked doubles stars Robertson’s 100th England appearance
The Japan matches will offer the first opportunity for badminton fans to see Robertson in action at home since joining the elite group of England players with 100 caps.
The Japan squad, who will train at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes before the matches in the build-up to the Denmark and French Opens in late October, will be led by former England National coach Park Joo Bong, the former world and Olympic men’s doubles champion and former world mixed doubles champion.
Pete Bush, Head Badminton Coach at the University of Bath, said: “This is a terrific opportunity for badminton fans to see some of the best players in the country in action in Bath. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to host the first international match of this two-match series against Japan and we’re also pleased that England have selected such a strong squad, with four of Britain’s Beijing 2008 Olympians due to play in Bath.”
Colin Whaley, Sales & Marketing Director at Center Parcs, said: “Everyone at Center Parcs is very much looking forward to the two forthcoming Japan internationals and it will be great to see some of our England stars, such as Nathan and Anthony, performing on home soil. We are very proud to be a partner of Team England and we wish the whole team the very best of luck.”
The matches will be played under the five-match Sudirman Cup format of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and one mixed.
Tickets will be £12 adults, £10 Badminton England members and £6 concessions – under-16s, OAPs and students.
Tickets are on sale now – see the BADMINTON England website for booking details at www.badmintonengland.co.uk
Tickets are also available by contacting 01225 384213, from the Sports Training Village reception or from the TeamBath store at www.teambathstore.com
Men’s singles: Andrew Smith (Hants, age 25, 32 caps). World ranking 28.
Women’s singles: Elizabeth Cann (Jersey, age 30, 27 caps). subject to fitness. World ranking: 38.
Men’s doubles: Anthony Clark (Notts, age 31, 91 caps) & Nathan Robertson (Notts, age 32, 100 caps). World ranking: 10
Women’s doubles: Donna Kellogg (Derby, age 31, 87 caps) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks, age 22, caps 20). World ranking: –
Mixed doubles: Clark & Kellogg (World ranking: 12) and Robertson & Wallwork (World ranking: 32).
Coaches: Pete Jeffrey, Julian Robertson.
*World ranking in the September 24 list
Men: Kenta Kazuno, Kenichi Hayakawa, Noriyasu Hirata, Hirokatsu Hashimoto, Kenichi Tago and Sho Sasaki. Women: Mizuki Fujii, Reika Kakiiwa, Shizuka Matsuo, Mami Naito, Eriko Hirose and Ai Goto.
Team manager: Park Joo Bong. Coaches: Fumihiko Machida, Keita Masuda.
The England v Japan badminton match comes at the end of an outstanding week of sport at the University of Bath. The Sports Training Village hosts two top international netball matches earlier in the week – against world champions Australia on Tuesday 13 October and against Commonwealth champions New Zealand on Thursday 15 October.
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Members of the media who require further information can contact the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the Team Bath website.