Ten athletes have been selected as part of Team England’s Badminton team for the home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer. The team includes several former Commonwealth Games medallists and Generation 22 athlete Toby Penty.
The five female players to represent Team England are Freya Patel-Redfearn, Lauren Smith, Jessica Pugh, Chloe Birch and Abigail Holden. The Men’s players feature Toby Penty, Marcus Ellis, Ben Lane, Callum Hemming and Sean Vendy.
Team England will send a team of over 400 Team England athletes to compete at Birmingham 2022 and capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity to bring home success in their own country.
The ten Badminton players to represent Team England across Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and the Mixed Team Event are:
- Abigail Holden, Wokingham – Holden has been holding her own on the singles circuit in recent years and was crowned English national champion at the age of 22. She will hope to make her mark at a first multi-sport Games and she makes her Team England debut on home soil.
- Ben Lane, Milton Keynes – Lane has built a badminton history of his own having won mixed team bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and represented Great Britain at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Sean Vendy.
- Callum Hemming, Milton Keynes – Hemming will aim for a run at a Commonwealth medal after his partnership with Jessica Pugh caught fire in its first full season. A year after playing together for the first time, the pair took home gold medals at the Scottish Open and Portuguese International.
- Chloe Birch, Northampton – As one of the most experienced shuttlers in England, Birch will aim to build on the mixed team bronze she won on the Gold Coast in 2018.
- Freya Patel-Redfearn, London – Having won two games at her maiden European Championships in April 2021 and made her BWF World Tour bow in the same season, Patel-Redfearn now has a chance to shine at a home Games.
- Jessica Pugh, Milton Keynes – Pugh took mixed team bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and previously played with fellow Team England athlete Ben Lane, winning European junior bronze together in 2015.
- Lauren Smith, Milton Keynes – With five Commonwealth Games medals to her name, Smith has been a fundamental part of Team England’s badminton success in recent years.
- Marcus Ellis, Milton Keynes – One of the most successful English shuttlers of the modern era, Olympic bronze medallist Marcus Ellis has reached the top of the tree in two doubles events
- Sean Vendy, Towcester – Vendy has won national titles at every age group and partnered with Ben Lane through the junior ranks and all the way to the Olympics.
- Toby Penty, London – Penty reached the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and produced some of his best badminton in a group stage win over world bronze medallist Kantaphon Wangcharoen before exiting in the round of 16.
Speaking on her excitement about being part of the team, Freya shared “It’s such an honour to be part of Team England and I can’t wait to get out there and perform, especially at a home Games with support from friends and family!”
With five Commonwealth medals already secured, Lauren Smith added “I always feel incredibly proud to be part of Team England and the Commonwealth Games is really special event as it’s an event that inspired me to play. So I can’t wait to compete on home soil.”
Hoping to continue his Commonwealth Games success and speaking on the home crowd, Marcus Ellis commented “the Commonwealth Games is a very prestigious event for all of us and it’s a real privilege to represent Team England. The Games being at home is an added bonus and I’m looking forward to seeing what the team can do with the home crowd behind us!”
Team England’s Chef de Mission, Mark England OBE, welcomed the athletes to the team: “We’re delighted to welcome ten badminton players to Team England for the home Commonwealth Games this summer. The squad is a blend of youth and experience, but all very talented players, including previous Commonwealth Games and Olympic athletes Lauren Smith, Ben Lane, Jessica Pugh, Chloe Birch, Marcus Ellis and Generation 22 athlete Toby Penty. I’m excited to see them compete and watch them ‘Bring it Home’ in Birmingham.”
You can become Part of the Pride and get behind Team England by following its social channels where each athlete will be announced in the run up to Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport event with a fully integrated programme of para sport disciplines and this year’s Games promises to be extra special with full stadiums and arenas after Tokyo 2020 took place behind closed doors. Birmingham 2022 is set to have the largest ever female and para sport programme in history after a new discipline of Women’s T20 Cricket and Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis were confirmed.