A strong English squad are on the medal hunt in Madrid as the 2022 European Championships take place this week in the Spanish capital.
Each member of the squad who will be taking part in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, announced last week, are in action including Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith who go in as top seeds in the mixed doubles.
The pair have won silver and bronze at these Championships before, claiming the latter in Kiev last year, and will now look to go one step further and complete their European set.
Ellis and Smith begin their campaign in the second round, where they will face the winners of the clash between William Villeger and Anne Tran and Miha Ivancic and Petra Polanc.
Callum Hemming and Jess Pugh are seeded eighth and take on Estonian pair Oskar Mannik and Ramona Uprus in the first round.
Second seeds Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue could lie in wait in the quarter-finals for Hemming and Pugh should both pairs make it that far.
England also hold realistic medal ambitions in the men’s doubles, with Ben Lane and Sean Vendy seeded third.
The pair have not previously made it past the last eight at a European Championship but will hope to put that record straight in Madrid. The winners of the first-round tie between Italians Giovanni Greco and Kevin Strobl and Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo and Azmy Qowimuramadhoni will meet Lane and Vendy in the second round.
Hemming and Steven Stallwood, making their European Championship debut as a pairing, go in at the first-round stage and take on Dutch eighth seeds Ruben Jille and Ties van der Lecq.
Rory Easton and Zach Russ play Glib Beketov and Mykhaylo Makhnovskiy, with second seeds and last year’s silver medallists Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Emil Seidel awaiting the victors.
New-look pairing Chloe Birch and Jess Pugh have been handed a wildcard into the women’s doubles draw and play Latvia’s Arina Babre and Arta Priedniece in the first round, with Birch hoping for her second medal in as many European Championships having taken silver alongside Smith last time out.
In the men’s singles, Toby Penty opens up against Miha Ivanic while England have two representatives in the women’s singles draw.
Freya Patel-Redfearn takes on Bulgaria’s Hristomira Popovska in the first round while Abigail Holden enters at the second-round stage against either Kristin Kuuba or Eleni Christodoulou.
The action in Madrid runs from April 25-30.