Rajiv Ouseph will lead the home challenge when the inaugural London Grand Prix takes place at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from October 1-6.
Londoner Ouseph is one of four reigning English National champions competing in this Gold category tournament on the BWF’s Grand Prix circuit and BADMINTON England are staging the tournament in partnership with adidas.
The London Grand Prix has attracted more than 170 top-class players from 25 nations, including China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand as well as European badminton strongholds like Denmark and Germany.
With the London Grand Prix Gold providing fans with another opportunity to get back on the Olympic Park following the 2012 Games, Ouseph can’t wait to get on court. He said: “It’s great that we finally have a second international tournament to go with the All England Championships.
“For me, as a Londoner, it will be the third year in a row that I have played in the capital following the 2011 World Championships and at London 2012. It gives my family and friends chance to see me play.”
Doubles champion Chris Langridge and partners Peter Mills and Heather Olver will also be in action along with women’s singles hope Sarah Walker.
Ouseph and rising star Toby Penty will be up against three top Danes in Jan Ø. Jorgensen, 19-year-old Viktor Axelsen and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus among the men’s singles challengers.
In the women’s singles Walker will be joined in the line-up by Thailand’s world top 20 players Busanan Ongbumrungpan and Porntip Buranaprasertuk as well as Spain’s 20-year-old talent Carolina Marin and 19-year-old Scottish No.1 Kirsty Gilmour, who is already in the world’s top 35.
But it’s in the doubles where the big overseas challenge comes. Olympic silver medallists Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, last month’s world runners-up, will be the men to beat.
Langridge and Mills and Marcus Ellis and Scotland’s Paul Van Rietvelde will be relishing the prospect of facing the former world No.1s while Andrew Ellis will get the chance to partner emerging doubles talent Chris Coles. Indonesia’s Berry Angriawan and Ricky Suwardi can also expect to be among the seeds when they are announced next Thursday.
In the women’s doubles Denmark’s world No.4 pair Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl , the world bronze medallists, will start title favourites while Olver and Kate Robertshaw will also be among the leading contenders along with Germany’s Birgit Michels and Johanna Goliszewski and Singapore’s Lei Yao and Shinta Mulia Sari.
Olver will also be in contention in the mixed doubles with Langridge but the main threat will come from Singapore’s world No. 15 pair Danny Bawa Chisnata and Yu Yan Vanessa Neo and German pair Birgit Michels and Michael Fuchs.
For news of the London Grand Prix Gold and for tickets go to www.londongrandprixgold.co.uk
Article by William Kings (edited), Photo by BadmintonPhoto.