England set to make most of Thomas Cup opportunity

26 April, 2024

Performance Director Morten Frost believes the travelling English squad are well set to make the most of a perfect learning opportunity at the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China.

The world’s finest men’s badminton teams will face off across nine days of action at the 33rd instalment of the prestigious event.

England field a young squad of nine, who qualified by winning bronze at the European Men’s Team Championships in Poland earlier in the year.

Experienced pair Ben Lane and Sean Vendy lead the side in the men’s doubles while Nadeem Dalvi, Harry Huang and Cholan Kayan represent England in the men’s singles.

Ethan Van Leeuwen, Callum Hemming, Alex Green and Rory Easton complete the team in the doubles.

It will be no easy task against defending Thomas Cup champions India and a strong Indonesian and Thailand team but the tournament allows England to put down a marker for future competitions.

Frost said: “We are extremely happy to have qualified. When we went to Poland, we beat Holland in the match that mattered to be number three which was really good.

“We were happy to qualify the team to go to China. It’s important to us, we want to be part of the international community, we want to be competing in the big tournaments.

“It’s really nice to see that our young team could compete in such a fantastic experience.”

Frost, who won a Thomas Cup silver medal in 1979 in Jakarta and bronze in Tokyo 34 years ago, understands the enormity of the competition, with teams looking to put themselves in the competitive global picture in an Olympic year.

Frost said: “Some of the players have never been in a tournament with these kinds of players.

“It’s a complete new learning curve.

“We’ve got Ben and Sean who are competing on a day-to-day basis at the same tournaments but the rest of the team is very young and can learn a lot from this experience.

“It’s such a difficult group and we get a chance to play against that.”


England’s opening bout will be against Indonesia, a team with YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships men’s doubles champions Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto and singles champion Jonatan Christie.

But it will be an interesting match up with Lane and Vendy in England’s ranks, who stunned Alfian and Ardianto at the Singapore Open less than 12 months ago.

Frost added: “We are up against Indonesia in the group, they have won it 14 times, and India are the defending champions so it’s really tough.

“Sean and Ben are a great part of the team, bringing a lot of experience to the younger players and can help steady the ship.

“It is a big ask, hopefully they will learn a lot from it and next time at this event we will be stronger.

“The target for them is to go out there and see if they can get some good wins under their belts and prepare in the best possible way for the Olympics coming up.

“It’s a big part of their participation in the tournament.”

Images: BadmintonPhoto

Optimized by Optimole