Badminton ace Chloe Birch has high hopes for new partnership

Preston badminton ace Chloe Birch holds lofty ambitions for her new doubles partnership with Jessica Pugh after the duo bowed out at the YONEX All England.

By Oli Dickson Jefford
Friday, 18th March 2022, 8:22 am

Birch, 26, and Pugh, 25, have only recently started playing together and started their campaign in Birmingham with a fine opening round win over Christine Busch & Amalie Schulz.

However, their campaign ended in Round 2 with a 21-16, 21-15 defeat to Chinese duo Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu.

With a run of tournaments coming up, Birch hopes her new partnership will continue to grow in the next few months.

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Chloe Birch in action during day two of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships at the Utilita Arena Birmingham

“We always knew it was going to be tough, but we knew we had an opportunity if we played well and I think we showed that in patches of the game," said Birch.

“They’re a new partnership, we haven’t seen loads of them play but they’re very good badminton players. I think we did some good stuff there and definitely something to look back on and move forwards with.

"We're trying to take a lot from each game so hopefully in Switzerland and France we can get some more matches under our belt and feel a bit more confident as a new partnership. Then we’ve got European Championships at the end of April which we’ve got a wildcard for which is great.

“Hopefully we’ll be back in Birmingham in July and August for the Commonwealth Games. It’s a really exciting year, it’s a new partnership so there’s exciting things to come.

“The more we play, the more we’ll be confident with each other so it’s exciting moving forward.”

Birch is more experienced than Pugh, having appeared in Tokyo last summer at the Olympic Games.

And with the Commonwealth Games this summer and the next Games in Paris just two years away, she’s setting another Olympic appearance as a definitive long-term target.

She said: “I would really like to go to a non-Covid games. We’re all geared up towards Paris and every big tournament is a big stepping stone to then.”

We welcome fans back to the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships this year. Now we want to welcome you back onto court. For more information and to find a court near you, visit The Time Is Now | Badminton England